Events on streaming and traditional TV services are shaping up for the fall in the important boxing genre, with current and former heavyweight champions stepping into the ring and Fox Sports continuing to ramp up its pay-per-view boxing forays.
Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will step into the ring Sept. 14 to fight undefeated challenger Otto Wallin on ESPN+. That fight is likely a tune-up for Fury before a potential 2020 fight with World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder — a rematch of their 2018 bout, which was scored a draw.
The Fury-Wallin fight will be the second Fury bout streamed on ESPN+, following the June 15 Fury-Tom Schwarz fight that Fury won in a second-round knockout.
“Tyson Fury is arguably the top heavyweight and most entertaining fighter in the world,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and general manager, ESPN+. “He put on a show the last time he was on ESPN+ and we look forward to another with this fight.”
Wilder is reportedly finalizing negotiations to fight Luis Ortiz sometime in November, with industry sources saying Showtime would distribute the fight on payper- view. The bout would be a rematch of their competitive March 2018 matchup on Showtime, which Wilder won by a technical knockout in the 10th round. Showtime officials would not comment on a potential November Wilder-Ortiz rematch.
Recently crowned World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. will defend the belts he won from former champion Anthony Joshua in a Dec. 4 rematch, slated to take place in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, Joshua’s promotional company, Matchroom Boxing, said.
Ruiz stunned the boxing world by knocking out the formerly undefeated champion Joshua in the sixth round of their June 1 fight. DAZN, which streamed the first Joshua-Ruiz bout and has a multi-fight agreement with Joshua, is likely to stream the rematch.
Industry sources also said DAZN is finalizing streaming rights to a potential Oct. 5 bout featuring former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. It’s also locking in a potential Nov. 2 fight with current middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. DAZN officials would not comment.
Outside of the heavyweight division, Fox Sports will continue to showcase welterweights with a Sept. 28 PPV fight between WBC champion Shawn Porter and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr.
That will be Fox Sports’s third trip to the PPV ring, following its March 16 Spence-Mikey Garcia fight and last month’s WBA welterweight tilt between WBA champion Manny Pacquiao and former welterweight champion Keith Thurman.
Fox Sports wants to distribute as many as four to five PPV matches before the end of the year, executive vice president and head of programming and scheduling Bill Wanger said.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.