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Sky frontrunner to land UK rights to Klitschko v Fury

UK pay-television broadcaster Sky is set to secure broadcasting rights to the world heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Briton Tyson Fury, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper said Sky is the sole remaining bidder in the UK market after specialist boxing pay-television operator BoxNation pulled out of an intended £12m (€16.9m/$18.6m) bid for the bout, which will be staged in Dusseldorf, Germany on October 24.

Fury was poised to pocket £4m in his challenge for Klitschko’s unified heavyweight crown but the Mail believes his purse will fall to £2.4m with Sky able to bid at a lower rate unopposed.

The reasons for BoxNation’s withdrawal are unclear at this stage. Fury’s past three bouts have been shown on the channel, which is operated by boxing promoter Frank Warren.

Fury is promoted by Hennessey Promotions, whose chief executive Mick Hennessy entered into a three-fight partnership with Warren that culminated in his fighter’s world-title eliminator victory over Dereck Chisora – part of Warren’s stable.

Fury’s bouts have previously aired on commercial broadcaster Channel 5 in the UK, although it is understood to be priced out of the bout, paving the way for Sky to show Klitschko v Fury on a pay-per-view basis via its Sky Box Office platform.

May’s welterweight super fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao was the last boxing event to air on Sky Box Office and carried a viewing charge of £19.95.

Klitschko’s promoter Bernd Boente was quoted in the Mail as having doubts over BoxNation’s true bidding intentions, while revealing that he hopes UK rivals to Sky will emerge.

“Our feeling is that may have been a paper number but we would have been to accept such an offer,” he said. “We are now opening talks with two of three other companies not so far named who are showing a strong interest.”