Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev for £24.95 on Sky Sports Box Office on Dec.12th
By Charles Brun: UK fans will need to dig deep to pay the going price of £24.95 on Sky Sports Box Office to watch the Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev fight on December 12th.
Eddie Hearn has opted to price the Joshua-Pulev fight at £24.95 rather than bringing it back down to the previous costs before the pandemic. It’s unclear whether the £24.95 is now the permanent price for future Joshua fights or if it’ll go back down.
Obviously, the timing of charging £24.95 for Joshua’s match against 39-year-old Pulev is horrible with it taking during the height of the pandemic with so many boxing fans in the UK out of work and not able to afford to pay the £24.95 asking price.
Will Joshua’s high PPV prices turn fans away?
Hearn might not realize that if fans don’t have the money to pay the higher prices for Joshua’s fights, they could turn their backs on him and use what little money they have on paying bills.
After all, we’re not talking about millionaires, are we? Another downside of the rising costs of AJ’s PPV fights is the probability of fans choosing to go in the direction of illegal streams to watch him, which are plentiful.
It’s not a big deal to pay the high prices for PPV if you’re well off and doing well during the pandemic. But that doesn’t reflect the situation with the average boxing fan, which is why it seems like an unusual move to keep AJ’s PPV price at £24.95.
Ideally, you’d like to see those prices drop to £14.95. With the lower price tag, more boxing fans would be willing to pay to see Joshua fight, and he’d make more money in the long run.
Additionally, you have to be in tune with the type of opponent Joshua is facing. Now, if he were taking on a talent like Deontay Wilder, maybe £24.95 isn’t a bad price point.
You can’t say that for the Joshua-Pulev contest because that’s a flat out mismatch. Pulev is an old guy who is a sucker for a left hook. He hasn’t fought anyone good since Wladimir Klitschko knocked him out in 2014.
Is Joshua-Pulev worth £24.95?
Pulev’s best wins since then have come against Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury. As I said, Pulev hasn’t fought anyone good since Klitschko, and he’s likely to be obliterated by Joshua on December 12th.
For the fan that is paying the £24.95 to watch the Joshua vs. Pulev mismatch, they’re not going to be pleased when AJ crushes the old-timer Kubrat in two or three rounds.
The Joshua-Pulev undercard is skeletal and pretty much barren of interesting matches. Judge for yourself:
- Lawrence Okolie vs. Krzysztof Glowacki
- Hughie Fury vs. Mariusz Wach
- Martin Bakole vs. Sergey Kuzmin
Bakole and Kuzmin have both been beaten by Michael Hunter, who Hearn surprisingly chose not to re-sign when his contract ran out. Alexander Povetkin and Pulev recently beat Hughie.
The 39-year-old Wach lost to Dillian Whyte last year. As for Glowacki, he was knocked out by Mairis Briedis in 2019.
When push comes to shove, some fans may elect to watch Joshua’s fights for free, especially when it’s a mismatch with his December 12th fight against the 40-ish Bulgarian Pulev.
In times like this, you’d like to see Hearn dropping the price for Joshua’s fights rather than raising them. Oh well, if this is how things will be for future Joshua fights, we’ll have to see if it’s the right move.
If the pay-per-view numbers drop off the side of a cliff, Hearn and Sky will likely make some adjustments and reduce the price for Joshua’s fights. I’m not holding my breath on that happening, though.
U.S fans paying $70 for PPV
The UK boxing fans have it easy when it comes to pay-per-view. Paying £24.95 comes out to $33.15 in dollars. In contrast, fans in the State pay $70 to watch fights on pay-per-view, and a lot of the cards are one-sided mismatches from top to bottom. $70 comes out to £52.69 in pounds.
The fights in the U.S are just as one-sided as the fight cards in the UK, and yet the price is considerably higher. The unemployment is just as bad in the States as it is in the UK, and still, the fans are expected to pay a premium to watch boxing on pay-per-view.
For example, the recent Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz fight was an expensive fight that was pretty much a one-sided affair, and that one went for $70.
“I think this is going to be a tough fight against Kubrat Pulev. I also think he is going to absolutely destroy him,” said Matchroom head honcho Eddie Hearn to Sky Sports Boxing.
“He’s moving so well. We know he’s brought in a couple of new trainers with Rob McCracken leading the way.
It seems like Hearn is saying two different things regarding Pulev. On the one hand, he’s saying the Joshua-Pulev fight will be tough, but on the other, he sees Joshua destroying Pulev.
Which is it? Will the fight be competitive, or is Joshua going to smash the hapless light-hitting Pulev to bits on December 12th?
With the high price tag for the fight, it had better be a competitive one, or else British fans are going to be stomping mad, especially with the mediocre undercard that Hearn has packaged with the AJ-Pulev contest.
Hearn can cost-cut by eliminating the Joshua-Pulev undercard
If it were up to Charles Brun, I’d take a broom and sweep out the entire undercard of mismatches, and then sell the main event between Joshua and Pulev at a reduced cost of £15.95. After all, that’s the fight that the fans care about. All the other stuff on the card is just fluff and window dressing.
“I think he’s going to break him down, he’s going to dissect him, and he’s going to punish him,” Hearn said of Joshua to take apart the 39-year-old Pulev.
“And I think you’re going to see a statement. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but I really do. That’s what I think,” said Hearn in letting fans know Joshua’s fight with Pulev is going to be a mismatch.
Gee, thanks, Eddie, for letting me know that Joshua is going to smash Pulev to bits on December 12th. It’s too bad you can’t drop the price for the fight to make up for the lack of a competitive fight and an interesting undercard.
More Boxing News:
- Oleksandr Usyk to force WBO mandatory title shot against Anthony Joshua in early 2021
- Mike Tyson: Anthony Joshua telegraphs his punches, it’s recipe for disaster against Fury
- Hearn reacts to Boris Johnson’s announcement, hopes fans can attend Joshua vs. Pulev
- Sky’s Adam Smith defends Joshua vs. Pulev £24.95 pay-per-view pricetag