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Explained: Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz 2 UK PPV record confusion

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Confusion reigned on Saturday as Pay-Per-View numbers for Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz 2 on December 7 in Saudi Arabia were rounded down.

Official figures released on Friday of 1.54m on Sky Sports Box Office were suddenly amended by the British Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB).

Initially, it was thought the Ruiz Jr. rematch had overtaken Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 by a mere 8,000 buys. It’s since been revealed Joshua vs Ruiz 2 eventually did, but only a week later.

According to BARB, Joshua vs Ruiz 2 made only 1.28m purchases on fight night as 256,000 of the buys were recorded the following week.

Furthermore, 35,000 views can be added for the rest of December.

Therefore, the event currently lies in third place on the all-time British platform list due to event date purchases only.

UK Boxing Pay Per View record

Joshua vs Klitschko remains ahead on 1.53m. In second place is Joseph Parker’s effort opposite AJ in March 2018 at 1.45m.

Overall, though, it was claimed Joshua had slightly extended his own benchmark at the top. The fight maxed out eventually on 1.575m. That’s if you include the following on sales for two weeks.

Joshua vs Ruiz broke the record, but only if you add the following on views. If you do this, then Joshua vs Klitschko hit 1.581m adding the week after and still remains ahead of the Ruiz offering.

In a shock twist, lumping those extra replays and late buys into the argument, Joshua vs Joseph Parker actually smashes them all out of the ballpark.

Merging AJ vs Parker between March 31 and the first week of April 2018 brings a massive total of over 1.8m buys.

The Saudi numbers are the sole plus to the UK market in a terrible year. UK PPV has been dying a slow death in 2019.

Figures have been the worst for some time as Joshua has campaigned on DAZN and fought outside of his home all year.

In Joshua’s place, the likes of Dillian Whyte, Josh Taylor, and Luke Campbell have struggled to hit 300k buys.

Even a YouTube offering of two presenters with millions of followers only saw 216k forked out the £10 to watch on the night.

A return to the UK in the coming spring against Kubrat Pulev will now be critical for Joshua’s future on Pay-Per-View.

TOP 3 UK Pay-Per-Views (All time)

1/ 31 March 2018 – Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker
(Sky Box Office) 1.832m (including later purchases)
2/ 29 April 2017 – Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko
(Sky Box Office) 1.581m (including later purchases)
3/ 7 December 2019 – Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Anthony Joshua II
(Sky Box Office) 1.54m (including later purchases)

Phil Jay is the Editor of World Boxing News.