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Joshua vs. Ruiz 2 brings in around 1.8 million viewers on DAZN

Anthony Joshua boxing photo and news image

By Charles Brun: The rematch between Anthony Joshua and IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. pulled in approximately 1.8 million viewers with 200K new subscribers on DAZN last Saturday, according to @MikeCoppinger.

Those are impressive numbers for the one years that DAZN has been streaming boxing. The numbers for the Joshua-Ruiz 2 and the Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev fight on DAZN reportedly impressive.

Joshua vs. Ruiz 2 breaks UK PPV record

In the UK, Joshua vs. Ruiz broke pay-per-view records in bringing in 1.6 million buys on Sky. Joshua (23-1

With that many views, it’s more of a reason for DAZN to push for a trilogy fight between Joshua and Ruiz in the near future. That’s not going to happen soon though, as Joshua has got a full plate for 2020 in taking care of mandatory defenses of his IBF and WBO belt. Hearn says Joshua isn’t going to give up any of his newly won titles, but he may not have a choice.

Joshua to fight Pulev and Usyk in 2020

The IBF and WBO both want their mandatory challengers to go first for some reason. It shouldn’t make a difference. Joshua, 30, is going to get around to fighting them sooner or later, but they both want their guys to come first.

If Joshua gets passed Usyk and Pulev in 2020, he wants to try and unify against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Right now Wilder holds the WBC belt, but it could be Tyson Fury as the World Boxing Council belt holder if he wins their rematch on February 22.

Wilder doesn’t sound too optimistic about a fight between him and Joshua taking place in the near future. If a fight between them can’t be made, Joshua’s options for 2021 could come down to these fighters:

  • Dillian Whyte
  • Michael Hunter
  • Filip Hrgovic

Those wouldn’t be big fights for DAZN in the U.S, because none of those guys are household names. Even though Ruiz looked horrible in his fight last Saturday, he would still be the far better option for Joshua to fight in 2021 than any of those guys.

Joshua wants to keep all his titles – Hearn

“He certainly doesn’t want to let [go of the titles] in the ring, or out of the ring,” said Hearn to “The IBF seems to be the one that was certainly ordered first. But I’ll need to speak to Daryl Peoples (president of the IBF), I’ll need to speak to ‘Paco’ (Francisco Valcarcel, the head of the WBO).”

The titles aren’t as important to the boxing public as seeing Joshua involved in good fights, and that’s something that he needs to consider. There’s no interest in seeing Joshua defend against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev in 2020, and that’s a fight that surely won’t attract new subscribers to DAZN.

Holding onto world titles for the sake of it isn’t going to validate Joshua in the eyes of the casual boxing fans, because they don’t care if a fighter holds more than one world title. They obviously are impressed when a fighter is mentioned as being a world champion, but it doesn’t register with them when they’re announced as having more than one belt.

It’s just meaningless overkill after a champion has one title in their possession. If Joshua chooses to try and hold onto all of his heavyweight straps, he’ll end up like Wladimir Klitschko with a long run of boring title defenses against guys that the fans weren’t excited about.

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