Joshua title defense to be streamed on new service

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NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Joshua's heavyweight title defense against Alexander Povetkin will be aired on the streaming platform DAZN on Sept. 22 as part of the U.S. debut of the service, promoters announced Tuesday.

The fight will be the first of a promised 70 live events on the service over the next year that will be available at a charge of $9.99 a month. The shows will feature both fights and Bellator MMA fights, said James Rushton, the CEO of DAZN.

"We're going to provide pay-per-view quality shows without the pain of pay-per-view," Rushton said. "It's all going to be part of an affordable monthly fee."

Joshua and Povetkin joined executives of the streaming company and Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Sport, to announce the debut telecast. Matchroom, which promotes Joshua, will provide fighters for the cards the company will stream.

"Everything we do is new and great, so it was only right we'd be part of this," Joshua said.

In recent years most big boxing matches have been televised in the U.S. either by the premium cable networks Showtime and HBO or sold on pay-per-view through one of the two networks. ESPN signed a deal with promoter Top Rank last year to air many of those fights, and has launched a streaming service of its own to show fights and other events at $4.99 a month.

Hearn said the fight card between Joshua and Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in London will be followed by an Oct. 6 card from Chicago featuring Jesse Vargas and women's fighter Katie Taylor, and an Oct. 20 card in Los Angeles headlined by super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman.

"In my opinion, this is the greatest thing to happen to boxing in America in a long, long time," Hearn said.

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