The April 16 fight between Amir Khan and Paul McCloskey will not be shown on Sky Sports or Sky Box Office, and the troubled bout could be headed, on UK airwaves, to the subscription network Primetime.
Sky put out an official statement on the development:
"Khan vs McCloskey will not be shown on Sky Box Office or any of the Sky Sports channels as it has not proved possible to reach an agreement on TV scheduling.
"Financial terms were agreed and a solution was offered for the fight to appear on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3 following the decision not to broadcast on Sky Box Office. It was not accepted."
The decision to move the fight to Sky Sports 3 was made a few days ago, when promoters failed to sign an attractive co-feature bout for the undercard. Originally, Matthew Macklin was set to face Khoren Gevor in a credible middleweight bout, but that fell apart. Then attempts were made to match heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury against faded ex-world champ Hasim Rahman, but an agreement couldn't be reached.
So without those fights, the card was frankly quite weak, not helped by a main event that many see as a foregone conclusion, with a B-side opponent that even UK fans aren't highly familiar with. The decision to put the fight on Sky Sports 3 seemed a little dicey from the get-go, as adjusting TV schedules and payoffs was never going to be easy. Khan stood to lose roughly £1 million with the loss of pay-per-view.
But now it appears that a new UK suitor is in the works. BoxingScene.com reports that Primetime, which has carried recent Carl Froch fights among other bouts, is in talks to pick up the fight. There's just no way this fight won't find UK TV coverage of some kind, and Primetime seems a good fit.
The fight will still air on tape delay in the U.S. on HBO.