World Boxing News has been all over the story of whether Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr. 2 actually broke the UK Pay-Per-View record.
Days after the Saudi Arabia event, and long before any official figures were revealed, UK tabloids reported the fight had broken new barriers.
Following a similar announcement over the YouTube fight broadcast on Sky Sports Box Office – there was immediate skepticism, unlike the book of ra gratis, over the claims.
As WBN revealed, the said YouTube fight only sold 216k PPV buys, according to the British Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) statistics.
BARB publishes the viewing figures every week, where the numbers of PPV sales are recorded publicly in the UK. This is mainly due to the decision by Sky and its partners to keep their sales private.
Therefore, WBN followed the reveal intently. After some delay, it was confirmed on Friday, January 3.
Joshua vs Ruiz 2
Joshua vs Ruiz 2 was stated to have been viewed by 1.54m on PPV.
As WBN stated at the time, Joshua’s second clash with Ruiz broke the PPV (BARB viewing) record previously held by the Briton’s battle with Klitschko in 2017.
Once again, WBN was a little unsure about those figures. The Ruiz offering only overcame the Klitschko event at Wembley by a mere EIGHT THOUSAND purchases.
Checking back a day later, those Joshua vs Ruiz 2 buys had been rounded down significantly to 1.28m. Updating on the story, it was then published that Joshua vs Ruiz 2 did NOT actually break the Klitschko benchmark.
As usual, fans had their views on social media. Some choose to explain the logic behind the record-breaking feat.
Started by more than one commenter, Joshua vs Ruiz 2 had actually claimed the PPV title by coupling buys from fight night and the following week.
The 1.28m views from December 7 had been added to other buys taking place days after the card. Therefore, AJ extended his achievement on this basis.
Joshua vs Klitschko
WBN decided to go back to April 2017 and double-check if this had been done before with any other event. Sadly for Joshua, this wasn’t the case.
So now, if other buys are to be taken into consideration. For example, for those bought the week after, as suggested for Joshua vs Ruiz 2, the Klitschko super-fight would no longer be the top Pay-Per-View.
Taking fight night views and the subsequent seven days of sales, Joshua’s fight with Joseph Parker in March 2018 absolutely wipes out any other PPV.
During the broadcast from the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, BARB recorded 1.457m views for Joshua vs Parker. This remains the official total stated for the bout.
But, taking on the new Joshua vs Ruiz 2 ruling, the heavyweight unification had 375,000 views the following week.
This means, based solely on the Joshua vs Ruiz Jr. 2 principle, the Parker fight had a 1.832m total. That total number obliterates Joshua vs Klitschko by almost a quarter of a million sales.
There’s also a big shock there.
The first clash between David Haye and Tony Bellew in 2017 jumps considerably to 1.515m, just 46,000 away from Joshua vs Ruiz 2.
Initial projections for Haye vs Bellew were under the one million mark, although BARB’s official figures prove otherwise. That leaves Haye vs Bellew in fourth place, up some five places on the list.
It’s not even taking into account buys from the week running up to the fight.
If we add all three weeks together, before, during and after fight week, the totals come out slightly differently as below:
UK Boxing PPV record
[PPV views week before, during, and the week after]
1/ Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker – 1.832m
(March 2018 – Sky Box Office)
2/ Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko – 1.631m
(April 2017 – Sky Box Office)
3/ Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz 2 – 1.575m
(December 2019 – Sky Box Office)
4/ David Haye vs Tony Bellew – 1.529m
(March 2017 – Sky Box Office)
5/ Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin – 1.247m
(September 2018 – Sky Box Office)
UK PPV RECORD [after sales]
[During and seven-day after-sales]
1/ Joshua vs Parker – 1.832m
2/ Joshua vs Klitschko 1.581m
3/ Joshua vs Ruiz Jr. 2 – 1.54m
4/ Haye vs Bellew – 1.515m
5/ Joshua vs Povetkin 1.123m
**BARB figures are only available from 2010. Floyd Mayweather vs Ricky Hatton (1.15m fight night views) could not be concluded from the results.
WBN Editor Phil Jay has over ten years of boxing news experience.