Gennady Golovkin is set to take on Sergiy Derevyanchenko in New York on Saturday night for the vacant IBF middleweight title.
The former unified middleweight champion will be returning to the ring for the first time since June, with boxing fans able to watch a live stream of the action on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports Action in the UK from 9pm ET (2am Sunday, BST).
Many boxing fans, however, are expected to turn to illegal methods in order to watch the fight for free online.
Recent title fights have seen Illegal streams flood Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms in the build up to the fight, with industry figures suggesting illegal streaming for sporting events has hit “peak levels” in 2019.
A new trend of so-called nano-piracy has also emerged, whereby pirated streams spread through live streaming sites like Twitch and Periscope.
“Nano-piracy essentially spreads via the push and instant global notification of social media and is largely unstoppable,” Wayne Lonstein, CEO of anti-piracy firm VFT Solutions, told The Independent.
“The rise of social natives, social media proliferation, and the growth in live sports and pay-per-view, has made social media the fastest growing domain for piracy,”
Figures from digital piracy authority Muso revealed that June’s heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz saw over 13 million people around the world tune in to unauthorised channels to watch the upset.
Such vast numbers have attracted cyber criminals seeking to profit from the popularity of illegal streams.
Many of the links shared across social media lead to malicious sites that put visitors at significant risk of malware and sophisticated phishing attacks.
“Fake sites and redirects are a popular tactic used by cyber criminals and the fans paying to watch tonight’s match need to be aware of them, even if they look legitimate,” Joseph Woodruff, a threat intelligence analyst at cyber security firm EclecticIQ, recently told The Independent.
Beyond boxing, the trend has also spread to football matches, MMA fights and other sporting events hosted on premium channels.
In an effort to combat the scourge, some broadcasters have made some events freely available to watch on sites like YouTube.
This year’s Europa League and Champions League finals were both broadcast for free, in what was described at the time as a “major blow” to online pirates.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies