Big-time boxing arrives on BT Sport this spring as promoter Frank Warren announced the first live shows on the network as part of the partnership with BoxNation.
Warren confirmed that the first event to be shown on both BT Sport and BoxNation will take place at Manchester Arena on Saturday April 8th and will feature a blockbuster card headlined by Terry Flanagan’s WBO world lightweight championship defence against Russia’s Petr Petrov.
Also to be featured on the card will be the eagerly awaited domestic super-welterweight showdown between former WBO world light-middleweight champion Liam Smith and long-time rival Liam Williams.
The biggest news of the day was the unveiling of Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams as Warren’s latest signing to join his ‘New Era’ on BT Sport. During her unveiling it was announced that she would make her pro debut on the April 8th Manchester card.
The next event of Warren’s opening BT Sport schedule will take place at the Leicester Arena, on April 22.
Undefeated Tommy Langford will face Brooklyn-based Georgian Avtandil Khurtsidze for the WBO Interim World Middleweight Championship at the Leicester Arena on Saturday April 22, live on BT Sport 1.
The Birmingham fighter holds the British, Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight belts and is determined to announce himself on the world stage by adding the WBO Interim title to his growing collection.
“This is massive for me,” said Langford. “It’s a huge fight and a huge opportunity to propel my name to the top of the sport. This is a tough fight but it’s very winnable. I’ve got the style to beat him and if I perform to the best of my ability on the night I’ll become an Interim World Champion. He’s like a little Mike Tyson in the way he fights, he tries to bully his opponents up close and is very relentless but he can be out-boxed.”
Elsewhere on the card, Tyrone Nurse will make the third defence of his British super-lightweight title against Malmesbury’s Joe Hughes, while Indian superstar Vijender Singh will fight in the city which boasts a huge British Indian population against Leicester’s own English super-middleweight champion Jahmane Smyle.
The next card announced by Warren will take place at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday May 6th. Mr Warren mentioned the card is set to have some further additions but will feature Bradley Skeete’s mandatory British welterweight title defence against Shayne Singleton.
Also on the bill, British featherweight champion Ryan Walsh will make the third defence of his title. The all-action Cromer fighter stopped Scotsman Darren Traynor in his first defence before halting highly-rated Belfast man James Tennyson in his second defence of the title at the Copper Box Arena last April.
The talented Mitchell Smith will also be given the chance to avenge his shock loss against George Jupp at the east London event.
Later that evening BT Sport will broadcast the superfight between Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Alvarez, who knocked out both Amir Khan and Liam Smith last year, is considered one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet and is stepping up in weight to take on compatriot Chavez Jr at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The BT Sport cameras will then travel to Leeds’ First Direct Arena the following weekend on Saturday May 13th, where local hero Josh Warrington will top the bill in front of his famously huge support against Kiko Martinez.
The undefeated WBC International featherweight champion is already the flag-bearer for boxing in his city and is now aiming to cement his place for a world title challenge later in the year.
Also on the card, women’s boxing’s biggest star, Nicola Adams OBE, will make a hero’s return to her hometown where she will fight as a professional for a second time as she aims to fast-track towards a professional world title.
Details of exciting further card additions to all four events and other high quality schedule additions will be announced at regional press conferences in the coming weeks, alongside ticket details for each event.