Fury v Usyk undisputed clash gave William Hill a UK branding boost
Oleksandr Usyk - Credit: Just dance / Shutterstock

William Hill scored a significant sponsorship boost over the weekend by picking up a UK-facing partnership, the ‘Ring of Fire’ boxing match between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury.

Taking place in the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh on Saturday 18 May, the bout saw Ukraine’s Usyk beat the UK’s Fury by split decision to claim the undisputed heavyweight title. 

Tyson Fury – Credit: V-LEIBIUK / Shutterstock

The Ukrainian has become the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 and the first undisputed champion in the four belt era. He walked away from the fight having retained his WBA (Super), IBF and WBO titles and claiming Fury’s WBC and lineal titles.

William Hill’s partnership with the fight saw its branding displayed across Sky Sports Box Office, TNT Sports and DAZN coverage of the event. The bookmaker also secured the rights to use the fight’s billing name, ‘Ring of FIre’, in branding across its online channels and retail estate.

Daryl West, Head of Sponsorship and Media at William Hill, said ahead of the fight: “With the fight set to be broadcast across Sky Sports Box Office, DAZN and TNT Sports, this is a landmark deal for William Hill and we’re delighted to be a part of such a historic night for boxing.

“There’s nothing quite like a world title fight between two of the world’s best prize fighters, and with this the first heavyweight unification bout in 25 years, this is an event we’re very proud to be associated with.”

William Hill has been a long-standing partner of boxing, particularly in its home market of the UK. The company partnered with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing back in 2019, including a global ambassador deal with former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua.

Broadcasting and betting data for the bout has not yet been fully released, with the boxing world itself still reeling from the news. However, prior to the bout, William Hill emancipated a hectic night for its trading team.

Spokesperson for William Hill, Lee Phelps, commented on Saturday: “We’re expecting this to be the busiest night our boxing traders have had since Fury Wilder III.

“So far, we’ve seen more money in favour of Fury than Usyk, particularly for a KO in rounds 7,8 or 9, but remarkably a draw would be the most expensive result for us. At odds of 12/1 and with the fight looking so evenly matched, over a third of all bets placed so far have been for the draw and that would be very costly.”

A rematch between Usyk and Fury, mandated under the fight contract for Ring of Fire, is scheduled for October. However, Usyk has been warned by the IBF that he will be stripped of this belt if he does not face its mandatory challenger, Croatia’s Filip Hrgović. 

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