Arum predicting Wilder vs. Fury pulls 2 million PPV buys or more
By Mark Eisner: With just five days to go before Saturday’s compelling rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, Top Rank Bob Arum is anticipating tremendous success for the fight card on pay-per-view.
Arum is predicting once again that the Wilder-Fury 2 fight will bring in a minimum of 2 million pay-per-view buys, thanks to the combined efforts from Fox Sports and ESPN in marketing the contest.
2 million buys is a pretty remarkable number for a fight that only drew approximately 325,000 buys two years ago when Wilder and Fury fought the first time on Showtime pay-per-view December 2018. It was a wise decision for Arum, Top Rank and ESPN to delay the Wilder-Fury 2 rematch rather than having them fight each other last May or June.
Arum compares Wilder vs. Fury 2 to Ali vs. Frazier 1
It tells the general public this is a really big event, and when the general public accepts it’s a big event, everyone wants to see it,” said Arum to The Big Lead. “Therefore, it’s driving numbers tremendously. It is because the fight is bigger,” said Arum when asked if Wilder vs. Fury is better than Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin 1.
“The last time we had a fight like this was Ali-Frazier in 1971 in their first fight in Madison Square Garden,” said Arum. “This fight is like that because Fury never lost his titles in the ring, he’s undefeated like Ali-Frazier, and Deontay Wilder is the WBC champion, who has never lost a fight. Again, like Ali and Frazier.
“In my opinion, it’s bigger than Tyson and Lennox Lewis, because each of those guys had suffered losses earlier in their careers, and that argument was maybe Tyson was past his prime,” Arum said. “Now everybody acknowledges these two guys are in their prime, and undefeated. I don’t have to sell this fight because it sells itself.
“I think when it’s all said and done, this fight will not only go into history as one of the biggest fights of all time but also a fight that really delivered in the ring,” said Arum in touting the interest fans have in the Wilder vs. Fury 2 fight.
The 1971 fight between Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier was an incredible match. For Arum to be comparing the Wilder vs. Fury 2 rematch with that fight, that’s a huge compliment. There is a huge amount of interest in the Wilder-Fury 2 rematch, and it’s going to be interesting to see if Arum’s prediction comes true.
Wilder-Fury 2 will do 2 million buys – Arum
“I really believe with the kind of buzz we have and the help from Fox and ESPN, we’re going to get 2 million buys,” said Arum. “That’s a big number, I know, but I feel there’s so much intense heat in this fight. Closed-circuit locations are setting records, and everything appears to be setting records.
“I think the pay-per-view, whether you buy it traditionally with the cable operators or the satellite providers or the direct to consumer streaming,” said Arum.” You can buy it on ESPN+, you can buy it on Fox streaming. The way to buy the fight has increased tremendously, and I think 2 million is a likely amount we will hit.
“I know it’s a big number, but I’m confident we’re going to hit it,” Arum said on his prediction Wilder vs. Fury 2 does over 2 million buys. “That is correct. Tyson-Holyfield is close to 2 million buys, and of course, Mayweather-Pacquiao did 4 million buys.
“ESPN and Fox are adults. They’re used to working together,” said Arum. “There’s no-nonsense. This has been so smooth working with them that it’s been really remarkable,” said Arum in predicting HUGE numbers for the Wilder vs. Fury 2 event.
2 million buys is an incredible number for the Wilder vs. Fury 2 rematch. With those kinds of numbers, it makes sense for the two to get back in the ring to fight each other in a trilogy match in the summer, provided that neither of them has injuries that would preclude that from happening.
Arum had a great experience working with Fox and PBC
“Contrast that when we had Showtime and HBO, and they fought like cats and dogs,” said Arum. “And a lot of people thought they fought more before the fight than the fighters fought on the night of the fight. It was a horrible experience, but this one has been a remarkable experience because we’re dealing with adults.
“The guys over at PBC that have worked with us have been very top class, very intelligent and very astute,” Arum said. “It’s been wonderful working with them, and I think they feel the same way working with us. That’s why I believe with all this cooperation, I believe we’re going to equal or exceed 2 million homes. The first fight a lot of people thought my guy Fury won, but whatever it was certainly a very exciting fight.
“This fight will be even better because Fury is even better than when he fought Wilder the first time,” Arum said.”I believe it’s going to be such a big fight that the public is going to demand a trilogy. Just like we had a trilogy for Ali-Frazier and Ali-Norton. It was always three fights to figure out who was really better,” said Arum.
This has got to be a much better situation now for Arum in working with ESPN, FOX, and PBC for this card. It sounds like the bitter rivalry that the older networks had left a negative impression on Arum.
Wilder vs. Fury 2 will be bigger due to it being delayed
“So for this fight, yeah, I think there’ll be another fight if it’ll be one of the most exciting fights that people have seen in years,” Arum said on the Wilder-Fury rematch. “When they were going to do an immediate Fury-Wilder fight, we stepped in and talked to his people. We said, ‘let’s not do that fight now. Let’s build you up on ESPN. It would take about six months,’ we said, ‘and then when you fight Wilder, it’ll be huge.’
“We convinced Al [Haymon] and his people and Shelly Finkel that was the way to go, and it’s really paid off,” Arum said about his decision to delay the Wilder-Fury 2 rematch. “When Fury first fought Wilder, it was relatively unknown outside of some of the boxing people. Now everybody knows him, and that was because of the two fights he participated in, which were shown on ESPN+.
“Also, the stint that he did with WWE, the wrestling event that he participated in,” Arum said about Fury increasing his popularity in the U.S. “Now his fan base is absolutely huge, and Wilder always had a fan base in the United States, but that too is bigger now. with his fight with Ortiz. That’s why there’s so much interest in this fight. The winner of this fight will be #1.
“The heavyweights always draw the most when there’s a real compelling match,” said Arum. “Look at history. As many as Canelo-Golovkin drew, it pales in comparison to what a big heavyweight fight will do. That doesn’t diminish Canelo’s drawing power, and standing in the sport. But heavyweights always have a tremendous advantage when it comes to public acceptance of their major bouts,” said Arum in talking about Wilder vs. Fury 2 bringing in better numbers on PPV than Canelo vs. Golovkin.
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