Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev in November in front of 2,000 fans at O2
By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn of Matchroom is planning on staging Anthony Joshua’s title defense against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev in late November in front of 2,000 fans at the O2.
Hearn has his work cut out for him to attempt to lure wary boxing fans to risk catching the dreaded virus attending the Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev match.
In addition to Joshua-Pulev, Eddie also plans on scheduling the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora fight at the O2 Arena in front of a small crowd in October. As for the rest of Matchroom’s matches for 2020, Hearn will have them take place behind closed doors.
Hearn hasn’t revealed how much the Joshua-Kubrat tickets will sell for, but it’s believed they’ll cost a premium because of the limited number.
Prices expected to be high
We could see a situation where boxing fans pay the kind of money that one would generally be charged for seating inside of a luxury box, which ranges from $500 to $1,500. But in this case, fans wouldn’t be sitting inside of a luxury box for the Joshua vs. Pulev. They’d be in the open air among the other fans.
There will be a lot of angry British boxing fans if they have to pay $500 to $1,500 per ticket to see Usyk vs. Chisora. Those are two non-world champions at heavyweight, and the odds of either of them ever capturing a title are slim.
Usyk was previously the undisputed champion at cruiserweight, but that doesn’t mean anything. The cruiserweight division has a weight limit of 200 pounds, and those guys are much smaller, weaker, and arguably less talented than the top heavyweights.
On top of that, Usyk looked beatable against Tony Bellew and Mairis Briedis, his two toughest fights at cruiserweight.
“We are making plans to stage the rest of the year behind closed doors with the exception of those two events, which will be pay per view,” said Hearn to The Telegraph.
“We are working towards crowds in October and the end of November for Dereck and then AJ.
“It may be a case of convincing people to attend and going through the right procedures to get people into the O2 Arena. It won’t be easy, but it’s our ambition to do it.”
You can understand why Hearn would want to jack up the prices on the Joshua-Pulev and Usyk-Chisora fights. After all, it’s the principle of supply and demand. When you have very few of something, the demand outweighs what is available. When that happens, the prices tend to skyrocket.
Greed isn’t good
By jacking up the ticket prices, Hearn would be doing what standard companies do when they sell a product that is in scarce supply but a high demand. With that said, if Hearn sets the prices too high for Joshua and Usyk fights, fans won’t be willing to pay.
With the economic situation being dire worldwide, it would be a class move if Hearn sold the tickets at the regular or a reduced price for Joshua-Pulev and Chisora-Usyk.
People would be appreciative for Hearn to keep the costs of the tickets at a reasonable price rather than going for the throat by raising them through the roof. What we don’t need is the ticket-buyers ending up being from the top 1% of society.
This isn’t a good time for Hearn to be asking for the UK boxing public to pay extra for tickets, given situation with the pandemic and staggering unemployment.
If only a small fraction of tickets are purchases for the Joshua vs. Pulev and Usyk vs. Chisora fights, this will blow up in Hearn’s face. He would need to slash the prices on the tickets at the last minute or, worse, give them away at the door.
What we don’t know about Joshua is whether a lot of boxing fans will choose to boycott his next fight due to him recently attending a rally and making some controversial comments.
There are a lot of people that want to see Joshua’s next fight, but that’s not because they think it’s a swell match-up. They see Joshua battling 39-year-old Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) as a mismatch, and there’s not a lot of interest.
Let’s face it; the only guy the fans want to see Joshua fighting is Tyson Fury, and that match can’t happen in 2020.
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