TalkSport, the UK-based commercial radio broadcaster, has secured exclusive audio coverage rights in the UK and Ireland for the hotly anticipated boxing rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua.
The deal will entail live radio coverage of the fight on August 20, with exclusive behind-the-scenes access from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as Joshua looks to reclaim the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO world titles he lost when he was beaten by Usyk last year in a unanimous judges’ decision.
The broadcast will be presented by Fight Night presenters Adam Catterall and Gareth A Davies, commentator Andy Clarke, sports broadcaster Ade Oladipo, and former bantamweight boxer Spencer Oliver.
Head of TalkSport Lee Clayton said: “The Usyk v Joshua rematch is heating up to be one of the most exciting fights of the year and as we are Powered by Fans, I am delighted that our listeners can enjoy the fight for free on TalkSport later this month.
“With world-class commentary live from Saudi Arabia, exclusive behind-the-scenes content and access to the weigh-in and press conference, it’s time to turn to TalkSport.”
This is the latest in a long line of boxing rights deals TalkSport has struck recently including for bouts between Amir Khan and Kell Brook (February 13) and Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams (February 5), which followed its airing of Fury-Wilder III.
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The rematch between Joshua and Usyk had been due to take place on July 23, but a delay was announced at the end of May due to what were described as broadcast wranglings between UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports, which had UK rights for Joshua, and streaming service DAZN, which has international rights for him.
In June, it was announced Joshua had signed a long-term broadcasting deal with DAZN, bringing an end a nine-year partnership with Sky. The upcoming fight was to be Joshua’s first under his deal with DAZN.
However, last month (July) it was announced Sky Sports had beaten DAZN to the broadcast rights specifically for the rematch, for over $28 million. The fight will be broadcast as a pay-per-view event on Sky Sports Box Office when it takes place later this month.
The rematch will be the latest major sporting event to partner with Saudi Arabia, with the kingdom having been accused of using such events to ‘sports wash’ a reputation of human rights abuse allegations.