By San Volz: Deontay Wilder’s comeback fight against Robert Helenius drew nearly 75,000 PPV buys for their October 15th fight on FOX Sports pay-per-view at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder knocked out the merciless 38-year-old Helenius in the first round, so fans didn’t get their money’s worth in this feud.
As bad as the main event fight between Wilder and Helenius was on paper, a good portion of the 75K potential buys on pay-per-view resulted in a co-main event between Caleb Plant and Anthony Dirrell. This is the best of the two battles.
With this non-match PPV fight on sale for $74.99 and a rematch between lightweight champion Devin Haney and George Kambosos Jr. that night, the organizers of Wilder vs. Helenius are looking for trouble.
They should have known that Wilder-Helenius would not appeal to boxing fans. We saw the same thing with Andy Ruiz Jr’s last two fights against Luis Ortiz and Chris Arreola being sold on FOX Sports PPV, and neither of those fights drew huge numbers, either.
The lesson to be learned from the Wilder vs. Helenius fight is that if Deontay wants to fight in the pay-per-view in the future, he needs to face the elite fighters that boxers hope to fight.
Examples of boxing fans who wouldn’t mind paying to see a Wilder fight:
- Andy Ruiz Jr
- Anthony Joshua
- Tyson Fury
- Joe Joyce
Wilder’s lack of numbers could hurt him when it comes to future talks with Joshua or Fury. Their promoters may look at the 75K purchase Wilder made for Helenius and see that as their reason to give him a decent payout.
It would have been a better idea for Wilder’s fight with Helenius to be shown on regular FOX instead of pay-per-view, but management went the PPV route.
“The Deontay Wilder-Robert Helenius fight generated approximately 75,000 pay-per-view purchases in the United States, multiple sources with knowledge of the event told Fight Freaks Unite,” said Dan Rafael to Fight Freaks Unite.
“This figure includes purchases across all platforms, including pay-per-view and pay-per-view on cable television and satellite services as well as digital platforms such as PPV. com and FITE. television.”