February 19 Clash At Manchester AO Arena Smashes Box Office Records, Four-Minute Presale Sellout Sets New Benchmark
Unprecedented Rush For Tickets Writes Khan vs Brook Into History Two Months Before The Fighters Will Enter The Ring
The Biggest Domestic Clash In British Boxing Today Will Air Live And Exclusively On Sky Box Office
Manchester, England – (December 13, 2021) – Two months out from the night both boxers will enter the ring to settle one of the bitterest rivalries in British sport,
the February 19 clash between Amir ‘King’ Khan (34-5, 21 KO’s) and Kell ‘Special K’ Brook (39-3, 27 KO’s) has already written itself into the record books.
Tickets for the event have sold out in just ten minutes, making Khan vs Brook at the Manchester AO Arena one of the fastest-selling events not only in British boxing history but in British sporting history as a whole.
A clue to the unprecedented level of demand came when fans signed up for last week’s presale at a ratio of six fans for every one ticket available.
When Friday’s presale opened, it sold out in just four minutes.
The speed of the presale sellout was echoed on Monday when a final batch of tickets went on sale to the general public, with the event officially being declared a sell-out just six minutes after the public sale began.
Following the lightning-fast sellout and value of the ticket inventory sold, BOXXER – which took over as the Sky Sports Boxing promoter just three months ago – now lays claim to records for biggest box office take for an indoor UK sports event and fastest sell-out for UK boxing event.
“We knew we could sell the arena out a few times over but the demand for tickets has been mind-blowing. The arena told us they haven’t seen anything like this in years. The level of national interest in this fight is just off the scale – it’s the biggest British battle in decades. We’re looking forward to an electric night on February 19 for what will be an iconic and legacy-defining fight in front of a sold-out arena and televised live and exclusively on Sky Sports Box Office,”said Ben Shalom, BOXXER’s founder and CEO.
The rivalry between Khan and Brook dates back to their teenage years, when the 17-year-old Khan won an Olympic silver medal after being selected ahead of Brook for the Team GB squad which went to the 2004 Olympic Games.
Khan’s professional accomplishments include tenure as the unified light-welterweight world champion and Commonwealth lightweight champion, while Brook is the former British welterweight champion and former IBF world welterweight champion.
With tensions between the two remaining high ever since their amateur days, British boxing fans have long had a showdown under professional rules on their wishlist. As the two top welterweights in the UK, February’s encounter will not only settle their rivalry but will also determine which of them is the best welterweight in the country.
VIDDAL RILEY ADDED TO KHAN vs BROOK UNDERCARD
British Boxing’s Biggest Domestic Event Of 2022 Will Also Host One Of Its Brightest Prospects As Undefeated Cruiserweight Confirmed For Card
Cruiserweight prospect Viddal Riley (4-0, 2 KO’s) was today confirmed as the latest addition to the BOXXER: Khan vs Brook event taking place at the AO Arena Manchester on Saturday, February 19.
Riley, a Team GB member in his amateur period and now undefeated in four fights as a professional, broke the news of his addition to the card live on Sky Sports News at midday today.
A successful creator and musician outside of the ring, Riley has over two million followers across his social media channels, all of whom will be paying close attention when he makes his BOXXER debut in February, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
“I can’t wait to be back in the ring. It’s been nearly two years and I’ve achieved a lot [while I’ve been away] but what I’ve been doing my whole life is boxing and to be able to excel in that field is exciting,” Riley told Sky Sports News.
“We haven’t got any news on the opponent yet but I am not too worried about that. I am just focusing on myself and I can’t wait to perform [and show what] I’ve been hiding the past two years, improving in the dark!
“There’s no pressure, because I’m used to getting millions of views and people watching what I am doing. Whenever I do something people tune in. So this isn’t any different – this is my profession, this is what I’ve been doing.”
“Viddal is one of the most highly-rated prospects in British boxing. He’s got the talent, drive and personality to be a megastar. We were incredibly happy to sign him to BOXXER and we’re excited to start the journey on such a massive platform,” said Ben Shalom, founder and CEO, BOXXER.
“Viddal Riley has a perfect platform to resume his career on the Amir Khan vs Kell Brook bill. A massive night for British boxing. We’ve welcomed Viddal to the Sky Sports Boxing team as a social media presenter, but now he returns to the ring as an unbeaten cruiserweight contender,” said Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development at Sky Sports.
“It will be fascinating to follow the next step of his journey as Viddal showcases his skills in Manchester, with more exciting additions to the Khan vs Brook show to come!”
Riley’s BOXXER debut will be his first time competing as a professional in his home country.
The former Team GB member represented Britain at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics and went 41-8 with 19 KO victories during an amateur career which encompassed a European Junior Silver Medal and a win over Daniel Dubois. His professional bouts to date have taken place in the USA, Dubai and Mexico. as well as the 2014 Youth Olympics appearance.
Riley is also known as the trainer of YouTube sensation and super-influencer KSI, having trained him for both of his bouts with Logan Paul as well as his showdown with domestic rival Joe Weller.
THREE FIGHTS ADDED TO HUGE KHAN-BROOK FIGHT NIGHT INCLUDING NATASHA JONAS WORLD TITLE
Liverpool star Jonas challenges Poland’s Ewa Piatkowska for Vacant WBO Female World Super-Welterweight title. Charlie Schofield puts the English title on the line against Germaine Brown, Brad Rea and Craig McCarthy meet in a 50-50 showdown
The already-packed undercard for BOXXER: Khan vs Brook solidified its heavyweight status today with the announcement of three further key fights added to the line-up for Saturday, February 19 at the AO Arena Manchester, live on Sky Box Office.
The card’s contingent of Olympians now doubles with the addition of Liverpool sensation Natasha ‘Miss GB’ Jonas, who blazed a trail for women’s boxing in 2012 when she became the first British female to box for Britain at the Olympics.
The vacant WBO Female World Super-Welterweight Championship – held until recently by Savannah Marshall’s arch-rival Claressa Shields – will be on the line when Jonas, the former WBA International Super-Featherweight Champion, faces two-time WBC Female World Super-Welterweight Champion Ewa Piatkowska.
With more than half of Jonas’ wins coming by way of stoppage and Polish phenom Piatkowska having ended a quarter of her bouts early, the judges may not be needed when the two world title contenders meet in the middle of the ring next month in Manchester.
Having made history twice – first as the first-ever female boxer to compete for Team GB and then, three years later, as Britain’s first female boxer at the 2012 Olympic Games – Jonas’ ferocious fighting style made her a firm fan favourite when she eventually crossed over to the professional ranks.
As a professional she has twice challenged for world titles, receiving a controversial draw decision against WBC and IBO champion Terri Harper in 2020 and taking bitter rival Katie Taylor the distance in 2021. Third time will be the charm when Jonas enters the ring next month.
“Before I signed with BOXXER, my management MTK and I had a meeting with Ben Shalom and told him what my goals and ambitions were and what I wanted to achieve before leaving the sport. I knew it wouldn’t be easy with so many champions tied up but Ben assured me he would make it happen and he hasn’t let me down,” said Jonas.
“I know it’s a big risk but those risky fights have brought out the best in me and I’m ready. I’m looking forward to it, it couldn’t be on a bigger show for north-west boxing and after I’ve boxed I’ll be in the crowd myself to enjoy the main event. I am over the moon and I don’t want to step up and get that world championship.”
Ben Shalom, BOXXER Founder and CEO, said “Natasha Jonas has been a pioneer for female boxing in the UK and we’re delighted that we were able to deliver this opportunity for her to add a major world title to her outstanding list of achievements on what will be the biggest British boxing card of the year.”
Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development at Sky Sports, “It’s absolutely fabulous that Natasha Jonas, one of our leading fighters, has a golden opportunity of lifting the world title on such a huge occasion. This is once again a tough challenge for Tasha as she must get through highly-regarded former world champion Eva Piatkowska. It’s a cracking chief support fight on the massive Khan-Brook card and a wonderful chance for Tasha to make her boxing dreams finally come true.”
Following an incredible October battle with Jez Smith – a 2021 Fight Of The Year Contender and instant classic – Manchester’s Brad Rea returns to the ring for an eight-round rumble with undefeated Irish southpaw Craig McCarthy in what is a very evenly-matched fight which the night’s best man will win.
With neither Rea nor McCarthy being fans of taking a backwards step, another classic firefight could be on the cards. The hometown crowd will be behind Rea but McCarthy won’t be alone either: Manchester has one of the largest Irish populations of any city in the UK, with an estimated one-third of the citizenry drawing some form of Irish descent.
A vocal army of supporters will be in attendance when Manchester man Charlie Schofield enters the arena to make his first defence of the English Super-Middleweight Championship. Schofield won the belt with a shutout win over Mickey Ellison in June last year and is intent on a triumphant night for himself and the home fans.
Seeking to spoil the party is Germaine ‘G-Man’ Brown. He’s gone 2-0 under the BOXXER banner, with both of those fights taking place at the famed Wembley Arena in his home city of London. Now a hostile crowd and a cold welcome await him as he heads north on a mission to dethrone the Mancunian on home soil.
The massive fight card also features the professional debut of Olympic Bronze Medallist Frazer Clarke; top cruiserweight prospect Viddal Riley and two of the most exciting talents coming through the sport in brothers Adam Azim and Hassan Azim; plus Yorkshire hot prospect Ibrahim Nadim.