For many of us, the 26th of December is a day reserved for spending time with family or recuperating after Christmas. But Boxing Day is also one of the biggest days in the sporting calendar. Certainly, in the UK, USA, and Australia, the day after Christmas tends to be stuffed full of sporting fixtures more than your average turkey. While many fans will brave the cold weather (or blistering sunshine if you are Down Under) to go to the games and events, it’s a huge day for television broadcasters, who cash in on the fact many of us are a little fed up of yuletide movies and party games.
This Boxing Day is no different, and there will be no end of sporting action broadcast from around the globe. Regardless of the time of day, there will be some live action on the telly. Below, we list some of the highlights:
NFL – Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
The NFL and Christmas go together like turkey and cranberry sauce, and fans are in for a treat when they see the Ravens and 49ers go up against each other on the 26th of December. These two teams are among the NFL’s best this season, and they are both among the favorites for the Super Bowl. Indeed, it is possible that this match is a preview of Super Bowl LVIII.
Premier League – Manchester United vs. Aston Villa
The Premier League is a firm part of Boxing Day culture in the UK, and around the world for that matter. It’s quite the coup that Amazon Prime now has the broadcast rights to the entire day’s fixtures. It’s understandable then that Amazon has selected Manchester United’s home clash with Aston Villa as the prime-time fixture (8 PM GMT). The two historic clubs, both of whom have ambitions to finish in the Champions League spots, will undoubtedly put on a show at Old Trafford.
Horse Racing – the King George VI Chase
Boxing Day races are a huge draw across the UK and Ireland. In fact, the 26th of December is the busiest day on the horse racing calendar. The undisputed highlight, however, is at Kempton Park, where the prestigious King George VI Chase will draw the crowds. The iconic race has made the names of superstars like Kauto Star in the past. But this year, two names, Geri Colombe and Bravemansgame, top the markets in the horse racing odds. It should provide a mouth-watering clash in one of the toughest races you’ll see.
NBA – 76ers vs. Heat/Mavericks vs. Suns
NBA fans are never short of action over the Festive season, but we have picked out two games on Boxing Day that look particularly appealing. All four of the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns have big ambitions this season, and it’s almost certain that the quartet will be in the NBA Playoffs in late spring. This double header will tell us a lot about the mettle of each team as they look for glory in 2024.
BBL Cricket – Syndey Sixers vs. Melbourne Stars
Finishing off with a clash between the two biggest clubs in Australian Big Bash League Cricket. The cities of Sydney and Melbourne enjoy rivalries across many sports, but there is always a special atmosphere around Aussie cricket on Boxing Day. This year sees the Sixers and Stars go head to head, and while neither side has hit the heights in the Big Bash League so far this year, it’s still going to be a fiery fixture under the scorching Australian sunshine.