Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Frank Warren takes on Sky with new channel

Frank Warren and sons Francis and George at yesterday's press conference to announce the new television station BoxNation

Frank Warren would like nothing more than to see a rematch between bitter rivals George Groves and James DeGale as a flagship bout on their new dedicated boxing channel.

Promoter Warren was flanked by his top fighters at yesterday's launch of BoxNation at the O2, which will initially be free to air on the Sky platform from September 30 before becoming paid-for £10-per-month subscription with two live shows each week.

Londoner Groves, unbeaten in 13 fights with 10 stoppages, is ranked in the top 15 with the WBC and IBF organisations and beat DeGale on points in May in a tight grudge match.

The 23-year-old, who will still be trained by Adam Booth, is open to a possible rematch with the Olympic gold medallist.

Speaking at a news conference, Warren said: “It is a natural rematch and is something which will happen, I am sure it will be sometime next year and it will be a bigger fight.

“However, first of all George has got to get through Paul Smith, which will be a tough fight, and James has got to win the European title.”

BoxNation will open with the Commonwealth super-featherweight championship contest at York Hall, Bethnal Green.

On October 15 all eyes will be on the Liverpool Echo Arena for the WBO light heavyweight title bout between Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew on a card which will also feature De Gale's European super-middleweight contest against Piotr Wilczeski before the action switches across the Atlantic for Bernard Hopkins versus Chad Dawson at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

As well as live contests BoxNation will also broadcast archive footage, daily news updates and comment.

Warren feels the demand is out there for a dedicated boxing channel, given recent viewing figures, and hopes for up to 100,000 subscribers.

He said: “For me, this is something a dream come true. For many years I felt boxing has had to fit in around other sports, this channel is about our sport.

“For just £10 per month, there will be two live shows per week —that is £1.50 per show.”