Boxing: Khan's pro debut marks Warren's return to ITV

  • @bigdaddybunce

Warren left ITV after 14 years and joined Sky, taking with him household names like Frank Bruno, Nigel Benn and Naseem Hamed. Between January and April 1995 nearly 60m people watched Warren's major fights. He has now agreed a two-year deal to screen 20 shows on different ITV channels and will start broadcasting on ITV1 on 16 July when Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan makes his professional debut.

Khan is not the main attraction. But it is taking place in his home town of Bolton and his fight against David Bailey, and not the British heavyweight title clash between Matt Skelton and Danny Williams, is what appeals to ITV.

In May Khan gained revenge over Cuba's Mario Kindelan at the Bolton Arena in ITV's first live fight on a Saturday night since June 1999 and a staggering audience of 6.3m watched. Warren is confident that world champions from within his network, like Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe will attract even larger audiences.