Interest in the forthcoming heavyweight rematch clash between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua is certainly spiking this week. So much so, that many are not aware a certain Mr. Chris Eubank Jr. is making his American debut on a WBC title undercard.
Nevertheless, Ruiz vs Joshua is the main fight in the mind of the Brits, an army of whom have braved the trip to Saudi Arabia.
The contest, a repeat of the shock Ruiz victory over Joshua on June 1st, goes out live in the UK on Sky Sports Box Office this Saturday,
An early start time, due to a three-hour time difference in Diriyah, will help bump up interest from many households around Joshua’s home country.
At present, Ruiz vs Joshua 2 is fully expected to top a million Pay-Per-View buys. A fact that seemed unfathomable just a few days ago.
PPV has been dying in the British Isles without Joshua’s Wembley presence. AJ’s decision to cross the Atlantic meant the first Ruiz fight only garnered half a million sales.
Subsequent offerings have failed to secure more than 300,00.
Despite heading to the Middle East, it’s the afternoon slot that will give a timely boost to promoter Eddie Hearn’s favorite platform.
Over a million firmly seems on the cards. But may well have been a record-breaker had it not been for a PPV price hike.
Matchroom Boxing and Sky are asking for an unprecedented £24.95 to view the event. A tag that will hurt the chances of Joshua completely saving PPV from oblivion.
A previous record of just over 1.5m buys for Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko seemed doable for the Ruiz return. That was until an extra five pounds were added.
Disgruntled fans are likely to seek out illegal streams, rather than pay the fee. Which is more bad news for Sky Sports Box Office.
Offering a YouTube event for a mere £9.95 didn’t work last month. The show only 216,000 buys, according to official figures.
So can Ruiz vs Joshua go anywhere near the Klitschko clash at Wembley? All will be revealed this weekend.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay
The full main card features four heavyweight fights including the much-anticipated world championship main event.
Opening the card is Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) against Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) followed by Dillian Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) against Mariusz Wach (35-5, 19 KOs).
In the evening’s chief support bout, Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) will square off against Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs).
Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 will be streamed exclusively on DAZN in the United States, in addition to being available globally on DAZN in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
The full main card will begin on DAZN at 12 p.m. ET with the main event is expected to commence shortly after 3:30 p.m. ET.
Sky Sports Box Office take up broadcast rights in the UK.