Arum: Wilder-Fury II Will Bring In 2 Million PPV Buys
When it comes to understanding the business of boxing, nobody gets it like Top Rank’s Bob Arum. Since the early 70’s, the promotion has dealt with a variety of boxers from all over the world. The money produced by big fights is unworldly. That is what Arum, 88, believes of the rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
Taking place Saturday, February 22 from inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the rematch comes from the 2018 bout in which Wilder (42-0-1) and Fury (29-0-1) fought to a split decision draw. The bout became legendary for Fury rising up following a vicious Wilder right in the 12th round.
The fight generated 325 buys in the United States, while in the United Kingdom it had over 450,000. Showtime’s delayed broadcast had over 488,000 viewers. Arum is under the impression that, thanks to new ways of watching fights, the numbers will be even higher.
“I really believe with the kind of buzz we have and the help from Fox and ESPN, we’re going to get 2 million buys,” said Arum to The Big Lead, via BoxingNews24. “That’s a big number, I know, but I feel there’s so much intense heat in this fight. Closed-circuit locations are setting records, and everything appears to be setting records.
“I think the pay-per-view, whether you buy it traditionally with the cable operators or the satellite providers or the direct to consumer streaming,” Arum continued.” You can buy it on ESPN+, you can buy it on Fox streaming. The way to buy the fight has increased tremendously, and I think 2 million is a likely amount we will hit.”
Showtime carried the first fight in the United States. With ESPN+ and FOX PPV deals, fans are finding new ways to watch fights. Here is the official list of entities carrying the fight. The promotion for the fights have also been big. You can’t watch the Super Bowl, an XFL game, a regular TV show or even the presidential debate without some mention of Wilder v. Fury II.
It took the heavyweight division a long time to get back on track. Now with Wilder, Fury, Anthony Joshua and more, there is a buzz in the air. Everyone is hoping for a superfight for the undisputed championship. It would add onto the importance of this fight. How important is this exactly? Arum considered it a special fight that can be compared and contrasted to a number of classic fights.
“The last time we had a fight like this was Ali-Frazier in 1971 in their first fight in Madison Square Garden,” Arum went on to say. “This fight is like that because Fury never lost his titles in the ring, he’s undefeated like Ali-Frazier, and Deontay Wilder is the WBC champion, who has never lost a fight. Again, like Ali and Frazier.
“In my opinion, it’s bigger than Tyson and Lennox Lewis, because each of those guys had suffered losses earlier in their careers, and that argument was maybe Tyson was past his prime,” Arum said. “Now everybody acknowledges these two guys are in their prime, and undefeated. I don’t have to sell this fight because it sells itself.”
At the end of the day, Arum has faith in this fight. Depending on how the bout goes, we could see another classic on our hands. Everything is in play here, and like most, Arum sees money in everything the two do.
Do you believe this fight does 2 million buys?