By Scott Gilfoid: Top Rank CEO Bob Arum predicts 500,000 pay-per-view buys on ESPN in the U.S for the British heavyweight match-up between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
With the vast $41 million winning bid put in by Top Rank last Friday at the purse bid for the Fury-Whyte fight, the fight must draw huge pay-per-view numbers in the U.S and the UK.
It likely won’t be enough for the investors to recoup their $41 million for the Fury vs. Whyte might if it only sells a lot of PPV buys in the UK and fills a stadium. They’re probably going to need a large number of buys in the U.S as well, and that’s where the problem lies.
Scott Gilfoid is predicting Fury vs. Whyte will sell between 100,000 to 150,000 PPV buys on ESPN in the U.S. That’s under ideal circumstances, assuming that Whyte will help out with the hard work of promoting the event.
Fury vs. Whyte = non-seller on ESPN PPV
It’s just not a great fight on paper, and whatever chance it has of doing decent numbers will go down the drain if Whyte chooses not to help out in the event’s promotion.
If Whyte drags his feet and chooses not to help Fury promote the fight to interest U.S boxing fans, we could see the match bringing in only 50K buys on ESPN PPV. In plain English, it would be a DISASTER.
Whyte, 34, isn’t a recognizable name among the casual boxing fans in America. Indeed, you can argue that YouTuber Jake Paul is far better known in the U.S than Whyte, meaning that it’s going to be challenging to attract American fans to want to open their wallets to pay the likely $75 asking price for Fury-Whyte.
If ESPN PPV dropped the price for Fury vs. Whyte to around $15, it would bring in massive numbers. They’re not going to do that, though, because it would still require a tremendous amount of buys to help the investors make their money back.
500K PPV buys are VERY ambitious numbers that Arum is predicting for the Fury-Whyte fight, as that would mean the match will bring in more buys than the two Deontay Wilder-Fury fights that took place on PPV.
🇬🇧 British. Heavyweight. Showdown 🏆
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) January 29, 2022
The odds of Fury vs. Whyte coming anywhere close to 500,000 PPV buys in the U.S are virtually zero. What’s working against the fight bringing in those types of numbers are the following:
- Whyte an unknown with U.S fans
- Dillian’s recent knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin
- No visibility in the U.S for Whyte
- Scheduling fight for UK time slot
Whyte similar to Chisora
For the American boxing fans that know of Whyte, many of them view him as a Dereck Chisora type of heavyweight. In other words, a slow, plodding guy who is easy to hit and very average.
There’s nothing impressive about Whyte at all. The only reason he’s mandatory for the WBC is that the sanctioning body ordered him to fight the badly flawed Oscar Rivas in a title eliminator in 2019 instead of a quality heavyweight.
What would be needed to sell a fight between the two British heavyweights in America would be for Whyte to fight in the U.S for two or three matches BEFORE facing Fury.
It’s too late to make that move, and Whyte likely wouldn’t agree to it anyway because he sells a lot of tickets in the UK. If he were to come to the U.S to fight, it would be a ghost town for his fights.