JOSH WARRINGTON hopes Sky Sports will return a favour and move Leeds United’s December fixture at Aston Villa to avoid a potential clash with his IBF featherweight world title fight with Carl Frampton.
Warrington says Sky would lose viewing figures if pulling a “dirty trick” and moving the Whites game to Saturday tea-time but the boxer says his “12th man” fanbase will turn up at Manchester Arena whatever logistical problem is thrown at them.
Warrington will make the first defence of his IBF featherweight world title crown against Frampton in Manchester on Saturday, December 22 – the same day that United are due to travel to Aston Villa for a 3pm kick-off. The high profile fixture looks certain to be picked by Sky for a live TV broadcast, offering the potential for the clash to be screened on Friday night, Saturday lunch time, Sunday lunch time or worst of all Saturday tea time.
The Warrington versus Frampton fight is also set to be screened live by Sky’s rivals BT Sports through Box Nation.
But Warrington hopes a visit made to Sky’s studios following his world championship winning bout against Lee Selby will stand him in good stead when Sky come to announce their TV plans for December’s games in the second week of November.
Warrington said: “I went down to the Sky studios after my last fight which doesn’t normally happen with fighters as most of them are signed to one TV network but I was very respectful and I am hoping that might play into my favour. Hopefully they might be nice to us. “But it’s Birmingham, it’s an hour and a half away from Manchester and we won’t be coming into the ring until about ten o’clock so those who want to be there, they will be there and will do what it takes to be there. I can’t wait for it, I am very confident and I hope to see you all there.”
Admitting Friday night would be the most sensible time for Sky to broadcast the Villa game, Warrington admitted: “I have said that many a times on interviews but I can only say it and it’s up to them to respond.
“I think they realise that I have got a big fanbase behind me and they won’t want to miss out on viewing figures.
“The right thing to do would be to move it to possibly Friday or make it a 12 o’clock kick-off or it’s not fair on fans. If they were to pull a dirty trick I would be very disappointed in them.”