Bob Arum: Joshua vs. Fury site fee will be biggest money in heavyweight history
By Pete Strauss: Bob Arum says the site fee for the upcoming June contest between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will be the biggest ever for a heavyweight match-up.
Arum says the fight will bring in over 2 million pay-per-view buys in the UK alone, which is an astonishing number. The bad news is, the PPV prices won’t be lowered for the event. They’ll be increased.
Arum says the reason for this is research has shown the fans are still willing to pay the higher price for pay-per-view when it’s a big event.
The price for Joshua – Fury still hasn’t been revealed, but it’s likely that it’ll be a small increase from what fans have already been paying. For the big fights in the U.S, fans have paid $100 per household.
The only way this could happen was to take the Joshua vs. Fury fight outside of the UK and U.S to a still to be determined country.
Arum says the location of the fight is still yet to be decided, but he’s looking at these countries to stage it: China, Singapore, and various areas in the Middle East.
Joshua vs. Fury targeted for June
“He had a mediator and it went nowhere. Really, the contract is over with, and we’re proceeding ahead with the fight between Fury and Joshua,” said Bob Arum to Three Knock Down Rule. “I’ve got the first draft [for Fury vs Joshua], and hopefully that fight takes place in June.
‘The fight doesn’t belong in America, even though Tyson Fury has kind of Americanized himself with the events he’s done here.
“Then the question is do you do it in the UK, and the answer from both sides was no because even if though it’s June, who knows where it’s going in the UK?
“So we’re looking at the Middle East and Asia. Those are the two possibilities for where the fight will happen. It could happen in Singapore, and it could happen in Macau [China] and in the Middle East in various countries.
“That’s true [Fury not ever wanting to fight Wilder again] because he felt like he was not only insulted personally by being called a criminal by Wilder but what Wilder was saying could be a statement against Gypsys.
“He interpreted that way, so he was beyond offended. It was absurd what Wilder was saying…We’ve moved on,” said Arum.
The fans understand that it’s not feasible to stage the Joshua vs. Fury fight in the UK because there’s a lot more money to be made elsewhere. Fury’s popularity in the U.S would make it interesting if the fight were staged in the United States.
If Joshua-Fury were to happen in America, they would have to take it to Florida or Texas, two states that are allowing fans right now.
But by June, when Joshua vs. Fury will be taking place, Arum believes the situation with crowds will change for the better. Many boxing fans will have taken the vaccine by then.
Arum predicting 2 million PPV buys in The UK
“It’ll be a substantial site fee if it’s done outside of the UK and U.S,” said Arum about the Joshua – Fury match. “And it’ll probably be the biggest money fight in heavyweight history.
“It’ll be massive, but again, you can’t count the chickens before they’ve hatched. But I am optimistic at how well this fight well do, both at the site standpoint and the pay-per-view standpoint, particularly in the UK, where we predict we’ll do over two million homes.
“We’ve had a number of discussions and one of the discussions we’ve had is lowering the pay-per-view price,” said Arum. “I advocated lowering the pay-per-view price across the board, and then the pay-per-view people said no.
“If the fight has exceptional name value, then the price doesn’t matter. In other words, ESPN+ was charging $60 for a UFC pay-per-view, and the McGregor fight, which was exceptional because McGregor got a big audience,” Arum said.
The PPV picture is expected to be a lot better in the UK for Joshua – Fury than it will be elsewhere. That’s where their fan base is at, and it makes sense that a huge amount of pay-per-view buys will be generated.
Arum’s prediction of two million buys could be accurate, which would mean a lot of money being produced. Incredibly, Joshua and Fury are both expected to walk home with over $100 million for the first fight.
Theoretically, they could make even more in the second contest in 2021 depending on the outcome of the June match. If Joshua and Fury end the year with $200 million in their bank accounts, how will this impact their future?
With that kind of money, it could prove difficult for them to have the motivation to get up every morning to continue to train hard.
PPV prices won’t be lowered for Joshua vs. Fury
“They raised the price to $70 to $80, and they wound up, from what I understand, with one million six hundred thousand people bought the fight on ESPN+in the United States.
That demonstrates to me that if you do an ordinary pay-per-view fight that is a good fight, then you got to watch the price.
“But if you do a real blockbuster between McGregor and the guy he fought [Dustin Poirier] in the UFC, then you can raise the price and people will still buy it.
“If it was a Spence – Crawford fight, then you can go back to your original pricing [without needing to lower the price to bring in more fans], but you can’t do it for an ordinary fight like the Gervonta Davis – Santa Cruz fight. They should have adjusted the fight down,” said Arum.
It’s no shock that the pay-per-view prices won’t be lowered by the organizers of the Joshua vs. Fury event. As Arum points out, it only makes sense to lower the PPV process for fights that are smaller and less appealing to the public.
The boxing public in the U.S and the UK will be willing to pay the higher prices for the Joshua-Fury match because it’s a historic fight that has a great storyline.
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