UKTV free-to-air channel Dave will air boxer David Haye’s long-awaited comeback fight live from London’s O2 Arena.
The former world champion will take on Australian heavyweight Mark De Mori in his first fight in over three years.
Haye, also known as The Hayemaker, said he was "delighted" that his comeback fight would be available to watch on the free-to-air channel: “I was determined to make this comeback fight free to everybody and fans should sit back and get ready for another fun-fuelled ride as I look to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.”
— David Haye (@mrdavidhaye) January 6, 2016
Viewers will have a ringside seat to the fight, which takes place on 16 January, and which will air live in a two-hour special that also includes highlights from the rest of the day’s boxing and music from DJ Driis (perhaps better known as Luther actor Idris Elba) and Rudimental.
The fight will be preceded by Haye v De Mori: The Countdown, a preview show on 15 January, following Haye as he prepares to re-enter the ring.
The boxing coverage was ordered by UKTV director of commissioning Richard Watsham and Dave general manager Steve North.
Watsham said the commission was part of a growing drive by the broadcaster to become the home of attention-grabbing live events, such as Monty Python Live (Mostly), which aired on Gold, and coverage from the Red Bull Soapbox Race on Dave.
Monty Python’s final show helped Gold score record rating with an average audience of 597,000 viewers when it aired in July 2014. Meanwhile Red Bull Soap Box Race Live drew in an audience of 640,000 in July 2013.
Steve North added, “We are increasingly stretching our offering to Dave viewers, bringing them programmes which tap into the news agenda, such as last year’s election special The Pub Landlord vs Nigel Farage. I’m thrilled to be giving our viewers a ringside seat to this hotly-anticipated boxing match and, with Dave’s own spin on the event, helping to show the sport in a brand new light."
The news follows a record year for UKTV in 2015, which saw the broadcaster overtake rivals Sky and Channel 5 in its share of social impacts.
Preview show Haye v De Mori: The Countdown will air on Dave on 15 January at 8pm.
Live Boxing: David Haye v Mark De Mori will be shown live from the O2 on 16 January at 9pm.
Photo credit: UKTV / Warren King Photography