Fanfare has subsided on Tyson Fury’s Las Vegas debut as the Briton is hit with a reality check from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Despite reports Fury had sold out almost 10,000 tickets (9,012) for his MGM Grand extravaganza, officials in the State have confirmed otherwise.
Making less than a million dollars from the gate receipts, Fury sold just over half what was originally announced as the attendance.
The 30 year-old’s clash with German Tom Schwarz generated $882,000 from 5,489 actual ticket sales.
The final total is over 6,500, although over 1,100 of those were complimentary. MGM Grand’s Garden Arena holds 17,000.
It’s a blow to the Top Rank/ESPN freight train of exposure laid on to Fury. What has become apparent is the heavyweight number one failed to sell what was expected by promoter Bob Arum pre-fight.
Fury still made a big impression and won the hearts of a lot of American fans. But these latest numbers will just give ammunition to those seeking to knock Fury’s efforts.
Claims in the US that Arum is attempting to rush through a Deontay Wilder due to the revelation have since been rubbished by Shelly Finkel.
Wilder’s co-manager told WBN ‘The Bronze Bomber’ will be plowing on with a rematch with Luis Ortiz.
“At this time, and as Deontay Wilder has told his fans, we are fighting Luis Ortiz. Then we will fight Tyson Fury,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I’m not sure why this question is being asked, but Deontay’s fight, our next fight is Ortiz. The Fury rematch will follow.
Asked about dates or venues for Ortiz, the New Yorker added: “Nothing has been confirmed for New York. We are in the process of looking.”
This leaves Fury with a Madison Square Garden date of his own, possibly on October 5th. An iconic venue with a 20,000 capacity.
What may be essential for the fall is an American opponent. Drafting in European-based Schwarz would have done little to bump up the seat sales.
Heading to the ‘Big Apple’, the likes of Jarrell Miller, Adam Kownacki or Charles Martin could be considered. Failing that, a huge name would be needed to pack the arena.
Building the Fury brand has been a success thus far, apart from the discrepancy in attendance. His now legendary ‘Apollo Creed’ ring entrance will certainly boost those numbers next time around.
It all means the forthcoming move by Arum and UK promoter Frank Warren takes on even more significance.