It seems the price increase of almost a fiver did not affect buys for this past Saturday’s big Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz rematch out in Saudi Arabia. According to a news piece from SportBusiness.com the fight pulled in around 1.6 million buys on Sky Sports, which (yet to be officially confirmed) would break the previous Sky Sports Box-Office record of 1.53 million which was set by the Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko fight from April of 2017.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, who fully expected such high numbers, said to UK tabloid The Sun:
“When everybody comes to you at the end from and from Saudi Arabia says, ‘You’ve just changed the face of sports in this country,’ And then Sky come in and say, ‘We’ve broken the record.’ And then DAZN come in and go, ‘The numbers in America were huge.’ It’s tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.”
In the U.K, the fight got underway during peak prime time, at around 9PM on these shores, and this was doubtless at least a small contributing factor to the buys the fight got. Still, even if this one took place in the early hours of the morning (something we UK fight fans have grown accustomed to over the years), it would have been a smash hit. If the fight indeed pulled in a staggering 1.6 million UK buys, this means the revenue generated from Sky Sports P-P-V alone will be a whopping £39.92 million or thereabouts.
No wonder everyone who was associated with the fight can’t stop smiling. But looking ahead, as all the promoters are, just imagine how many numbers a Joshua-Deontay Wilder clash could pull in! How about a Joshua-Tyson Fury super-fight, held in the UK?
Joshua is without any shred of doubt the heavyweight pay-per-view king. Of course, a solid under-card provided a hand, but Joshua has genuine star power – not only in the UK, but all over the place. Is there any heavyweight aside from him who can regularly achieve such big, big numbers, basically no matter who he fights? No.
The word is, it could be Kubrat Pulev next for AJ, in London. That’s not a super-fight, but as a “homecoming,” first defence of his second reign, another million or so buys is not out of the question.