Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are set to fight at the end of the year in what will be one of the biggest heavyweight clashes held in the United States for quite some time.
Fury, coming back from a lengthy spell out of the sport due to mental health issues and drug use, has fast-tracked his return in order to face the current WBC champion.
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Given the attention surrounding Fury’s return and Wilder’s anticipated unification fight with British champion Anthony Joshua, this one will undoubtedly generate plenty of interest.
The winner will likely come up against Joshua next year to crown the heavyweight division’s first unanimous champion in almost two decades. That will be the big prize that both fighters will have their eye on, but how much make could this one generate?
While little has been confirmed, the pair looks set to fight for the WBC belt in Las Vegas. Fury confirmed as much when he told Wilder “one thing I promise when I go to Las Vegas, I’m knocking you out,” following his points victory over Pianeta.
There are plenty of venues to pick from in Las Vegas, including the iconic Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay, T-Mobile Arena, or the Las Vegas Convention Center that once hosted Sugar Ray Robinson, Sonny Liston and Muhammad Ali in the 1960s.
However, few offer quite the same appeal as the MGM Grand in the sport’s modern history. The venue hosted Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson in the 1990s, and more recently the highest grossing event in the sport’s history, Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao.
Wilder has thought at the MGM Grand in the past, when he defeated Bermane Stiverne on a points decision in 2015. Putting his name alongside Tyson and Mayweather will be a huge attraction for the American heavyweight.
How much could Wilder-Fury make from ticket sales?
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight generated $72.2m from the sale of 16,200 tickets.
It is highly likely that Wilder vs Fury will produce a similar sold out crowd.
The two boxers bring two different styles to the fight. One, Wilder, is a power punches that relies on big shots to get the job done. The other is a tactician, who relies on his boxing skills to keep his opponent at a distance, who has managed to evade the best of punchers that Europe has thrown at him so far.
Wilder’s last fight against Luis Ortiz drew attendance figures of 14,100, up from 10,900 and 12,300 in his two previous fights. Fuelled by his rivalry with British heavyweight Anthony Joshua, Wilder’s profile has been raised considerably in the past 12 months. Likewise, Fury will bring the pantomime to Vegas, which will undoubtedly appeal to an American audience.
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Of course, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was one of the most highly anticipated bouts in recent times. Tickets sold for between $1,500 and $250,000, averaging $4,460 per seat.
In comparison, Wilder’s most recent fight saw tickets sold for between $60 and $1,200.
For a fight of this magnitude, prices will likely be a fair bit higher. Gate revenues won’t come close to reaching $70m, but the two camps can expect to see seven figures.
Pay per view
Given the hype surrounding the Wilder-Joshua rivalry, as well as Fury’s quick comeback, it seems likely that this one will be shown on PPV in both the United Kingdom and US.
The Wilder-Ortiz fight averaged a viewership of 1.1m earlier this year, while Fury’s comeback fight against Seferi peaked above 800,000. Before that, Wilder’s 2017 rematch with Stiverne peaked at around 900,000.
The numbers aren’t spectacular, but their profiles have grown considerably since.
The Klitschko-Fury fight produced 500,000 PPV sales in the UK, while it reached a free audience of 1.7m in the US. The majority would have been tuning in for Klitschko on that occasion, but many will still be keen to see whether Fury’s success was a one off.
Likewise, given the impact that this fight will have on Joshua going forward will undoubtedly offer some extra incentive for fans of the British heavyweight champion to tune in. Joshua’s title fight against Klitschko reportedly generated more than 1.5m purchases.
So how much could Wilder-Fury make from PPV?
Given what’s on the line – notably, a chance to fight Joshua and become the undisputed champion of the heavyweight division – interest will undoubtedly be high.
Even with the fight being held in the US, meaning that the main event won’t begin for British boxing fans until the early hours, increased interest in the sport means that there is potential for Fury to top his previously PPV record of 500,000 buys in the UK.
Shown exclusively on BT Sport Box Office, prices have yet to be announced. However, PPV prices in the UK are typically around the £20 mark, so that would be another £10m in the pot.
It’s more difficult to put a number on PPV buys in the US, where Wilder will be the main attraction. The Alabama-born fighter has never fought on PPV before.
Going by the Wilder-Ortiz fight, Wilder draws a similar viewership to middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. The Canelo-Golovkin fight did 1.3m last year. With American fans charged $75 to purchase the biggest events, that fight made close to $100m in the US alone.
According to the Express, the fight will likely generate around $50m.
Wilder vs Fury purse: How much will go to the fighters?
It will all ride on those PPV figures, but both fighters will likely earn their biggest purses yet regardless.
Fury’s biggest payday came in the Klitschko fight, which earned him around $4m. Wilder, on the other hand, has never earned more than the $2.1m that he picked up for beating Ortiz.
Half of PPV revenues will likely go to the broadcasters, HBO and BT Sport, leaving around $25m to be split between the two fighters. Having agreed to a 50/50 split, they will take home around $12.5m each if early estimates are correct.