Anthony Joshua's comeback fight will not be broadcast on a UK PPV TV channel.
This is the first time this has happened in eight years as the former two-time boxing world champion returns to the ring on April 1. However, the fight will not be shown on Sky or BT Sport Box Office, but on the global sports streaming service DAZN, and will be included in the £9.99 per month subscription.
This fight will be the first in Joshua’s new five-year partnership with DAZN to be streamed live and worldwide on the ever-growing digital sports entertainment platform. Beyond the UK, DAZN is available in over 200 territories and, in order for fans to access DAZN, they would need to download it as an app.
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This can be done on multiple devices such as Smart TVs, games consoles, tablets and mobiles. The Brit was demoralised after failing to win back his WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight titles from Oleksandr Usyk last summer and took a break from the sport after losing his second successive fight against the Ukrainian.
But a refreshed and recharged AJ will contest a bout with Jermaine Franklin at London’s O2 Arena. “I am looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1 at The O2 London.” said Joshua. “Mentally and physically I feel ready. I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards.”
This is a must win fight for the 33-year-old as he looks to reassert himself in a competitive heavyweight division. “Franklin has a good style & great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights,” he added.
“This will be my first fight broadcast on DAZN in the UK and will be globally available on the platform. I want to thank DAZN for supporting both myself and the sport of boxing as a whole. I would also like to thank the team at 258 and Matchroom Boxing.”
DAZN CEO Shay Segev is thrilled to have the 33-year-old’s comeback on his books as he hyped up the fight. “This is the most eagerly anticipated fight of Anthony Joshua’s career, and, at DAZN, we are delighted to deliver it to fans in the UK and around the world as part of their monthly subscription, making it the most accessible AJ fight in a decade”, DAZN CEO Shay Segev said.
“Beyond our unrivalled boxing schedule, we are committed to building our library of sports content in the UK. Our tie-up with KSI’s Misfits to create X Series and joint venture with Professional Fighters League to launch PFL Europe are just two examples of what we will do to deliver top sports content to DAZN subscribers.”
Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn added: “What an incredible year Matchroom and DAZN have in store for fight fans around the world – and this is just the beginning. The UK's biggest boxing star Anthony Joshua returns to our screens on April 1 as he looks to reclaim his spot as the number one Heavyweight on the plant. 'AJ' has reset and refocused and he is on a mission to defy his critics as he kicks off his exciting new partnership with DAZN.”
Franklin meanwhile, who trained alongside Tyson Fury in the build-up to his showdown with Dillian Whyte last November, will be no easy task for AJ. The 29-year-old lost his last encounter against Dillian Whyte and will be relishing the chance to get back on the winning trail against the Watford local.
“I’m ready to show the world why it’s time for me to take my place at the top of the Heavyweight division,” said Franklin. “Joshua had his time. It’s my time to shock the world! This fight isn’t going to the judge’s card. I will have win number 22 come April 1. That ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”
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