Five of the best: Matchroom Boxing's biggest moments on Sky Sports

Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports have created some iconic moments together but will end their 25-year partnership this month.

This is it. A new era of British boxing beckons after this weekend's IBF final eliminator showdown between Lewis Ritson and Jeremias Ponce.

After more than 25 years in association with Sky Sports, Matchroom Boxing will complete their move to streaming service platform DAZN in a five-year deal.

Eddie Hearn will take all of his UK fighters across with him - with the exception of Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte - and will promote 16 shows a year, something described by the Matchroom mogul as the perfect time to go 'all in' ahead of Fight Camp next month.

Planet Sport takes a look at Matchroom's biggest moments on Sky Sports.

Chris Eubank world tour

Boxing's most eccentric character embarked on an eight-fight, £10million world tour after joining Sky Sports and kicked things off with a shaky win over Brazil's Mauricio Amaral.

On average, Eubank would fight nearly every six weeks, which included fights against Dan Schommer and a two-fight series with Steve Collins in South Africa and Ireland, respectively.

In reality, the fights were very hit and miss but it was a big scoop for Sky Sports and Barry Hearn at the time with Eubank - who was perhaps on the slide - the most talked about boxer in the UK following his wars with Nigel Benn and Michael Watson.

"The Force" was on his way to victory in their rematch before Eubank produced an incredible-yet-tragic punch to earn the win. 

Chris Eubank's punch left Michael Watson fighting for his life
Chris Eubank's punch left Michael Watson fighting for his life

Prizefighter

Now this was fun.

The tournament - a three-minute, three round format - consisted of a quarter-final, semi-final and final with all of the fights taking place on the same night. In total, there were 35 tournaments, from 2008 to 2015 and taxi driver Martin Rogan won the first of its kind.

In 2009, Olympic gold-medallist Audley Harrison entered and won Prizefighter 8, which helped guide him to a heavyweight world title challenge against David Haye. Harrison also won the 29th edition, beating Rogan along the way in the semi-finals.

Froch vs Groves rivalry

The duology between these two helped rejuvenate the popularity of boxing in Britain. Carl Froch - the experienced four-time world champion - had reached the end of his career and wanted to cash in on the biggest fights possible.

Before the "Cobra" could do that, he had to get rid of his mandatory challenger, George Groves. During the build-up, it was clear: Groves fancied his chances and was getting under the skin of Froch in the process.

Despite a knockdown in the opening round, as promised by Groves, he was unable to dispatch Froch to earn an upset victory. As Froch rallied back, referee Howard Foster halted proceedings in round nine to give the Nottingham fighter a disputed TKO win.

Controversy sells and a rematch was ordered by the IBF. The second contest would take place at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 fans - for anyone who didn't know, it was a post-war record attendance for a boxing event - before Anthony Joshua's titanic win over Wladimir Klitschko which held 90,000 (don't tell Carl).

This time round Froch had psychologically prepared for the second encounter and in a cagey affair produced one of the best knockouts in British boxing history in round seven.

The birth of Anthony Joshua

Single-handedly the most important fighter in the history of Matchroom's partnership with Sky Sports. Joshua rejected the opportunity to join Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions and signed with Hearn and Matchroom after winning gold at the 2012 Olympics.

As they say, the rest is history. Following victories over Dillian Whyte and then Charles Martin to become IBF heavyweight world champion, Joshua's profile accelerated to new heights. His defining moment came against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in 2017, defeating the Ukrainian in the 11th round.

"AJ" beat Joseph Parker in a unification one year later and avenged a sole defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2020.His rematch win against Ruiz is the biggest generating pay-per-view in history with 1.57 million sales.

Joshua currently has one fight left on his deal with Sky Sports and will have a decision to make after taking on Oleksandr Usyk in September. 

Fight Camp

The global pandemic had put a stop to sport and with fans banned from attending live events, there was one question: would boxing return in 2020?

Frank Warren opened proceedings at the BT Sport studio but it was Hearn who delivered the first major event by turning his office into a boxing venue.

Dubbed as 'Matchroom Square Garden', Matchroom Boxing delivered four back-to-back shows in August, kicking off with Ted Cheeseman taking on Sam Eggington. In an incredible slug-fest, Cheeseman prevailed via unanimous decision.

Week two saw Terri Harper somehow retain her WBC super featherweight title after an enthralling battle against Natasha Jonas. The first ever all-English female world title bout was quite possibly the best fight witnessed last summer at Matchroom's HQ.

The final week - a pay-per-view event - included a rematch between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon. They picked up from where they left off in Madison Square Garden and Taylor overcame the stubborn Dane to retain her lightweight titles on points.

It was the main event which created the most dramatic result of the summer, though, as Dillian Whyte got knocked out by Alexander Povetkin. Having held the WBC mandatory spot for quite some time, the Brixton boxer surrendered his position as the Russian landed an uppercut sent from the Gods to KO Whyte in round five.

The pair fought again in Gibraltar earlier this year and Whyte gained revenge, dismantling the former WBA champion inside four rounds.

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