Fox Sports’ Andy Ruiz Jr.-Chris Arreola heavyweight pay-per-view boxing event this past Saturday night ushered in what is shaping up to be a busy -- and hopefully lucrative -- spring and early summer period for the PPV boxing category.
After a relatively quiet 2020 -- mostly due to the crippling effects of the pandemic on live sports events -- 2021 is already shaping up to be a comeback year for the PPV boxing category. It’s too early to tell how many PPV buys were generated from Saturday’s event -- in which Ruiz Jr. won in a majority decision over the veteran Arreola -- but the event serves as a launching pad for at least four PPV flights over the next three months.
This Saturday, arguably PPV boxing’s current pound-for-pound champion Canelo Alvarez fights Billy Joe Saunders in a super-middleweight unification championship fight that will also stream on the DAZN sports service.
Showtime will step into the PPV ring June 6 with an exhibition bout featuring retired PPV boxing champion Floyd Mayweather and YouTube star Logan Paul, according to sources. Showtime will follow that fight up with a more conventional PPV fight card June 27 headlined by its Gervonta Davis-Mario Barrios super lightweight championship fight.
The company having arguably the biggest influence on the PPV boxing genre this year is social media company Triller. Fresh off its April 17 Jake Paul-Ben Askren event that featured a mix of boxing matches and musical performances -- and still giddy over the success of last November's Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. exhibition boxing/concert event which drew north of 1.6 million PPV buys -- the company will offer via PPV a June 5 fight card featuring the Teofimo Lopez-George Kambosos Jr. lightweight championship fight. The card will also feature the return of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield to the ring against journeyman Kevin McBride.
The company is also reportedly working on a July 3 fight that would mark the ring return of former six division champion Oscar De La Hoya.
The industry is hoping that the success and appeal of these events could help build momentum for some potentially lucrative Fall PPV boxing events that could feature such PPV draws as Manny Pacquiao, welterweight champion Errol Spence, heavyweight champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, as well as a second Tyson event.
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