World champion boxer Tyson Fury established himself as the king of the heavyweight division with his dominating win over Deontay Wilder Saturday night, but it's still unclear if the much-anticipated fight will finish as the pay-per-view buy champion in the heavyweight division.
The undefeated Fury defeated Wilder in the seventh round after Wilder’s corner threw in the towel. Fury battered the previously undefeated Wilder for most of the fight in winning the World Boxing Council heavyweight title.
While PPV buys were not available at press time, industry executives believed going into the fight that the event could generate at least 1 million PPV buys. The fight -- a rematch of the 2018 bout between the two fighters that ended in a controversial draw -- was backed by an unprecedented marketing campaign created by co-promoters ESPN and Fox Sports that featured promotional spots in both the January College Football Playoff Championship game and this month’s Super Bowl.
Showtime distributed Fury-Wilder 1, which generated a reported 325,000 PPV buys.
Prior to the fight, Top Rank Inc. promoter Bob Arum in published reports predicted Wilder-Fury II could generate 2 million PPV buys in what was described as the biggest PPV heavyweight fight since the 2002 Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight. That fight, in which Lewis stopped Tyson in the eighth round, generated 2.7 million PPV buys -- a record for a heavyweight boxing match.
Fury-Wilder II reportedly drew $17 million from live tickets sales, surpassing the 1999 Lewis-Evander Holyfield II as the biggest gate ever for a heavyweight championship fight, according to published reports.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.