Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury estimated at 800K to 850K PPV buys -Sources

By Boxing News - 02/26/2020 - Comments

By Kenneth Friedman: Last weekend’s rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury brought in an estimated 800-850,000 buys in the U.S from their fight on ESPN and Fox Sports pay-per-view. [@MikeCoppinger]. These numbers haven’t been made official yet. They’re from sources.

With the fight being a mismatch with Fury stopping Wilder in the 7th round, it’s unlikely that the third fight contest between them will improve. If anything, we might see lower PPV buys for the third Wilder-Fury fight due to fans expecting another mismatch.

Wilder-Fury 2 PPV totals below Arum’s 2 million buy projection

These numbers are respectable for a heavyweight clash in this era, but far below the numbers that Fury’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank had projected with him predicting 2 million+ pay-per-view buys. On the bright side, the estimated 800,000 to 850,000 buys far exceeds the 325,000 buys from the first Wilder vs. Fury fight in December 2018 on Showtime PPV.

A lot more PPV buys were expected for the Wilder-Fury 2 rematch due to the partnership between ESPN and Fox Sports in marketing the rematch. Perhaps one reason why the fight didn’t do the 2 million buys that Arum had predicted is the late start that they got in promoting it.

Initially, Arum believed that the Wilder vs. Fury rematch could be sold simply by having the fighters advertise it during college and pro-football bowl games. You can argue that was a mistake because neither fighter was able to show off their charisma and zany personalities inside studios being asked questions by football commentators that had no real background in covering the sport of boxing.

The football commentators looked uncomfortable asking the Wilder and Fury questions, and there was no enthusiasm or energy. What Fury and Wilder needed was to promote the fight like they were a couple of professional wrestlers, and going over the top.

Wilder-Fury 2 undercard lacked quality fights

One way of pumping up the numbers for the third Wilder vs. Fury fight would be to lower the price of the PPV. Selling the fight for $80 might be out of the price range, especially when the co-feature is a lackluster fight between Charles Martin and Gerald Washington. Fans weren’t talking about the Martin-Washington fight at all in the weeks before the fight, which was a bad sign that they didn’t care for this mismatch involving mediocre fighters.

Premier Boxing Champions has a lot of good fighters in their stable, and it would have been nice for them to put some of their quality welterweights in the co-feature instead of heavyweights Washington and Martin.

Top Rank’s addition to the undercard between WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete and Jeo Santisima was a disappointment as well. Navarrete is a good fighter, but his opponent had no shot. It would have been better to put Navarrete in with a good fighter like Luis Nery. Top Rank promotes Carl Frampton, Shakur Stevenson, and Michael Conlan. Any of those fighters would have been excellent for Navarrete to face.

Boxing fans do pay attention to undercards, and what was packaged with the Wilder vs. Fury 2 card was arguably subpar.

How to improve Wilder vs. Fury 3 PPV numbers

To improve the PPV totals for the next Wilder-Fury 3 fight, the organizers need to consider the following measures:

  • Lower cost of PPV to $50 to $60
  • Assemble a good undercard with quality fighters.
  • Use worldwide press tour. Don’t advertise on the cheap by promoting it during football games. Fans that follow football don’t want to hear advertisements about boxing during games. That kind of stuff is likely tuned out by fans, who go to the bathroom or the refrigerator during commercial breaks
  • Show more video footage of Wilder and Fury in training camps. There need to be updates
  • Fans have to believe Wilder has a chance. His image needs to be rebuilt somehow