When Top Rank and ESPN announced their new seven-year rights deal in August that called for 54 live boxing events per year, one of the key elements was that Top Rank would secure American rights to 24 international cards annually to stream them on ESPN+.
Top Rank has picked up cards from around the world, including from England, Japan, Australia and Mexico, but now there will be many more British cards to come.
Top Rank and Frank Warren's British-based Queensberry Promotions on Tuesday announced that they have entered into an exclusive multiyear agreement that will make ESPN+ the home for Warren's cards held in the United Kingdom.
"We are committed to securing the biggest and best events from around the world," Top Rank president Todd duBoef said. "Our long-term objective is to showcase global talent and to expose the next generation of boxing stars. Frank Warren is a legend with a keen eye for building talent, and his elite stable has proven to resonate with North American fans."
Top Rank bought the American rights to Warren's June 23 card on which middleweight contender Martin Murray outpointed Roberto Garcia -- a late replacement for world titlist Billy Joe Saunders -- in London.
The first event of the new deal will take place on Oct. 6, when ESPN+ will stream Warren's card from Morningside Arena in Leicester, England. The all-British main event will feature rising junior welterweight contender Jack Catterall (22-0, 12 KOs), 25, against 26-year-old Ohara Davies (18-1, 14 KOs).
The card will also feature two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams (4-0, 3 KOs), 35, of England, against Isabel Millan (21-4-1, 8 KOs), 33, of Mexico, for a vacant interim women's junior bantamweight world title, and top heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (8-0, 8 KOs), 21, of England, in a scheduled 10-round fight against American journeyman Kevin Johnson (32-10-1, 16 KOs). The 39-year-old Johnson, a former world title challenger, has faced a who's who of opponents such as Vitali Klitschko (for a world title in 2009), Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Dereck Chisora, Manuel Charr, Kubrat Pulev and Andy Ruiz Jr.
"I am absolutely delighted and honored to announce this landmark multi-year deal with Top Rank that will see my promotions going forward featured regularly on the ESPN platforms in the U.S. and Canada," Warren said. "This was a very attractive opportunity to us due to the level of exposure our stable of fighters will benefit from by being showcased by one of, if not the biggest, broadcaster in sport. Boxers like Terence Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko appear on ESPN, and our boxers will be sharing a broadcast home with them going forward. The agreement will open doors for them to get their name known coast to coast in North America and eventually become stars there."
Warren, who has been friends with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum for decades, has long been one of the top promoters in the world. He has worked with superstars such as Ricky Hatton, Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe, Prince Naseem Hamed and Amir Khan and currently promotes fighters such as former heavyweight world champion Fury and interim featherweight world titlist Carl Frampton.