As time will play out, we will, at some point, find out how well the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will do on pay-per-view sales and at the box office.
Many feel this venture pay-per-view will do well, and I agree. Others, however, seem to put the expectation and the number breaking the 4.6 million that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao did in there much delayed but awaited matchup in 2015.
One of those folks is ESPN blow by blow man Joe Tessitore.
In the video, Tessitore, who will be slated to call the rematch of Wilder-Fury, exclaimed the following as fellow ESPN analysts huddled around what looks to be the biggest available magic card table:
“When we had [Mayweather-Pacquiao], it was on the shelf for too long by the time we were able to pull up and enjoy it,” insisted Tessitore during the discussion, which ESPN+ released on Monday. “These guys are in their absolute prime. They’re undefeated heavyweight champions.
“They want it and they want it now, and that is why I believe—and it’s the HEAVYWEIGHT division—this to me, will break every pay per view record, it’ll be the most viewed fight in the modern era of boxing.”
Wilder-Fury 2 "will break every pay-per-view record; it'll be the most viewed fight in the modern era of boxing."
Speak it, believe it, receive it pic.twitter.com/aOQr5Zl5ES
— Rafe Bartholomew (@Rafeboogs) December 30, 2019
While Tessitore’s claims sound lofty and almost dreamlike, they weren’t co-signed or agreed with by the others at the table, nor are the soundbites of Bob Arum saying that 80-100 million people will see Fury appearing on ESPN shows.
It’s statements like these why we’re all skeptics in boxing.
Give or take that number, for example, of 100 million from Arum. Arum only expects 2 million of them to pay, which at this time is an unknown price for pay-per-view. That is a considerable leap of faith despite the intrigue from the last one, which garnered only 350,000 back for their controversial split decision draw from 2018.
On Monday, I asked on my Twitter how many pay-per-view buys does everyone realistically think the upcoming heavyweight rematch between Wilder and Fury will generate for their fight to take place on February 20th in a joint venture with Fox and ESPN.
Okay. We all saw again the video of the Top Rank Boxing folks crammed at the kiddie table saying #WilderFury2 doing record numbers and 4 6 million buys.#boxing Twitter, what number do we all think it's going to do? I'll make it a game. Winner receives something TBD*
— Marquis Johns (@weaksauceradio) December 30, 2019
While it’s too early to tell as we wait for the promotional blitz to kick in full gear, I’m safely guessing without knowing how we will be greeted with ads from both Fox and ESPN about 920,000 buys without knowing the sticker in the United States. The comments and guesses so far have ranged to at least be in that neighborhood as of this writing.
Feel free to provide your guess if you’d like as I’ll throw in something to be determined* to whoever is closest if and when they disclose the actual pay-per-view numbers.
*Still to be determined as of this writing and may not have actual cash value. Additional legal jargon to come in due course.