A highly agitated Eddie Hearn is saying that the reason the pay-per-view price has remained the same £24.95 for the Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev contest on December 12th as it was for AJ’s last fight against Andy Ruiz Jr is that they won’t have a crowd of 70,000 at Tottenham to watch it.
Hearn says they’re losing many millions for the Joshua-Pulev match because of the lack of a crowd.
So one way for them to make up for the loss of revenue is by keeping the pay-per-view price at £24.95, which is what it was for the rematch between Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7th last year in Saudi Arabia.
There’s no comparison between the Joshua vs. Pulev match’s magnitude on December 12th compared to AJ’s second fight against Ruiz Jr last year in Saudi.
Hearn defends Joshua-Pulev PPV price
Joshua was the challenger in the Ruiz rematch, looking to avenge his 7th round knockout defeat earlier in New York.
In contrast, Joshua’s December 12th fight against 39-year-old, light-hitting Pulev is viewed as a mismatch that likely won’t last beyond the third round at best.
Interestingly, Hearn stubbornly insists that Pulev is just as talented as Ruiz Jr and that the Joshua-Pulev fight is just as big as his rematch with Andy.
“It’s the same price as Joshua’s last pay-per-view against Andy Ruiz,” said Eddie Hearn in defending the decision to charge British fans £24.95 to watch Joshua vs. Pulev on December 12th.
“I just said this is the price point for pay-per-view. It might not be the case all the time. We’ve [Matchroom and Sky] have decided to keep it at the same price.
“We’ve got no fans, and we’ve got 70,000 people at Tottenham Hotspur that are no longer coming. So we just decided to keep our pay-per-view price the same price as it was for his [Joshua] last fight.
“He’s the biggest star in world boxing, and next weekend if you really want, you can pay 20 quid to watch an exhibition with Mike Tyson and Roy Jones,” said Hearn.
“The week after, you can spend a touch more to watch the biggest star in heavyweight boxing and a massive undercard close out the year before he [Joshua] fights for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world,” said Hearn.
Fans would like to see a drop in price for Joshua’s match against old-timer Pulev because they don’t view this fight as being one that will be competitive.
Basically, this is a simple title defense for Joshua against Pulev, a guy with a horribly inflated resume filled with fluff opposition. Hearn insists that Pulev is as talented as Andy Ruiz Jr, but the fans don’t agree.
They see the Bulgarian as an older fighter, who stepped it up once in his career against an A-level fighter in Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, and he was blown out in five rounds.
Pulev’s best wins have come against these lower-level fighters:
- Kevin Johnson
- Dereck Chisora
- Hughie Fury
- Alexander Ustinov
- Tony Thompson
- Michael Sprott
- Alexander Dimitrenko
- Derric Rossy
The majority of Pulev’s best career victories came nine to ten years ago. In recent years, Pulev has beaten Hughie Fury, Samuel Peter, Rydell Booker, Bogdan Dinue, and Dereck Chisora.
Hearn says there’s no price increase
“There’s no price increase for Anthony Joshua despite the fact that there are millions and millions and millions of pounds no longer coming into the [Joshua-Pulev] fight. So we’ll keep the price the same,” said Hearn, who looked visibly disturbed.
“I don’t want to say anything that is coming to come back and bite me in the a** because I’ve done that plenty of times,” Hearn said when asked if Joshua’s match against Tyson Fury will be under £30 on pay-per-view in 2021.
“I don’t see any intention in that pay-per-view price to be. Look, I would think that if the AJ fights moving forward at £24.95, Sky’s decision or whoever else is broadcasting the fight with Sky, and I would think £29.95 would be the price point for that fight [between Joshua and Fury].
“But once again, despite not having 70,000 ticket revenue for that fight, we are not increasing the price for AJ’s next pay-per-view [against 39-year-old Pulev], we’re keeping it at the same price as his last fight [against Andy Ruiz Jr last December],” Hearn said.
Technically, there isn’t a price increase for Joshua vs. Pulev, but when you remember that the pay-per-view prices on Sky Box Office were hiked to £24.95 for the much bigger Joshua-Ruiz Jr 2 fight last December, then, of course, there’s been an increase in the price of AJ’s fights.
If the fans choose not to purchase Joshua’s match against Pulev, we’ll likely see Sky adjust the prices somewhat for his future matches. But it’s reasonable to assume that British boxing fans will need to pay above £24.95 for Joshua’s two unification matches against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in 2021.
Hearn is predicting the Joshua-Fury fight’s cost to be at £29.95, but he’s guessing.
Hearn: Joshua-Pulev = same as Joshua-Ruiz II
“In terms of a fight? Yes,” said Hearn when asked if he views Joshua vs. Pulev as just as big of a fight as AJ’s rematch against Ruiz Jr on December 7th last year in Saudi Arabia.
“Yes, absolutely. Pulev is exactly the same ability as Andy Ruiz. When I first did the Andy Ruiz fight, I was getting totally abused by everyone, saying this is a ‘Dog s*** fight,’ and he knocked out Anthony Joshua.
“In the next fight [in December 2019], Andy Ruiz is Muhammad Ali. Now you’re saying that Kubrat Pulev, who is ranked much higher than Andy Ruiz, was when we first fought him [in June 2019].
“He’s [Pulev] also the mandatory challenger with one defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, is now not of the same level as Andy Ruiz? He’s exactly at the same level. In fact, he’s more accomplished than Andy Ruiz.
“Joshua was a challenger, so it was a big fight,” Hearn said when told that Joshua-Pulev isn’t of the same magnitude as last December’s rematch between Joshua and Ruiz Jr in Saudi.
“But in terms of the toughness of the fight, it’s exactly the same,” said Hearn.
Eddie can say that Joshua-Pulev is just as big as Joshua’s rematch with Ruiz, but the facts don’t bear that out. There is absolutely zero buzz about that fight on social media with three weeks to go before Joshua defends against Pulev on December 12th.
The reason why is boxing fans view the contest as a mismatch, and rightly so. Pulev can’t punch, he’s old, and he has no defense against left hooks. That’s Joshua’s bread & butter punch, and you better believe that he’s going to be looking to land it from the opening bell on December 12th.