Ngannou Vs. Fury Rumored Numbers: 11.5K TV PPV Buys In U.S & 56K On ESPN App
By Charles Brun: MMA news outlets report that last weekend’s Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury event did an abysmal 11,500 TV PPV buys in the U.S. and 56,000 ESPN+.
Given the ultra-steep $79.99 PPV price in the U.S for fans, the barebones undercard, which was filled to the brim with mismatches with no eye-catching fights that would attract American fans, it won’t be surprising if this event bombed badly on pay-per-view.
If these numbers are genuine, the Saudis wasted their money putting on this expensive event on ESPN+ PPV & TNT Sports pay-per-view.
Moving forward, the Saudis might want to reconsider staging the Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight in their country in February because this fight match-up likely would be even worse than the Fury-Ngannou event.
Usyk is NOT popular in the U.S. or the UK, and neither is Fury. As far as Charles Brun can tell, the ONLY time Fury put in good numbers is when he fought Deontay Wilder, and he was the one who brought in the PPV buys.
Fury was just the B-side guy, as his fighting style is not entertaining unless one likes watching Greco-Roman wrestling in the stand-up mode. The 35-year-old Fury is like an Aleksandr Karelin type of stand-up wrestler, and that’s not entertaining for fans.
It’s fine if the Saudis don’t mind losing money on their events, as they obviously have the kind of dough where they can afford to put on events that fail to break even. However, if the Saudis believed that the Fury-Ngannou event would bring in Fort Knox’s worth of riches, they could be disappointed.
Last week, there was zero buzz about the Fury vs. Ngannou event all the way up to Friday. Virtually NO one was talking about the fight in the U.S. In fact, Fury’s 59-year-old dad, John Fury, was getting more attention by calling out Mike Tyson, and that was a bad sign.
While the Brits fans loved the undercard, Americans thought it was pure garbage, as they were not impressed with the fights. The undercard was just so awful. There are no words.
Now, the big question is, do the Saudis throw more money at another Fury fight or do they wash their hands of the big lug and focus on more entertaining fighters that are popular with U.S. & UK fans?
Let’s face it. Fury is an old guy who hasn’t fought anyone good for years. Whatever popularity Fury once had, he drizzled it away by choosing to fight a couple of scrubs, Derek Chisora & Dillian Whyte, after his ‘win’ over Deontay Wilder in their trilogy match in 2021.
“Tyson Fury didn’t look himself. He looked afraid at times. Part of that was due to the physicality of Francis Ngannou, and part of it was the paycheck he [Fury] saw slipping away for Usyk [fight],” said Eddie Hearn to Secondsout, discussing Fury’s win over Ngannou.
“If you lose or nearly lose to a guy that has never had a fight before, you got to expect the criticism that comes with it,” Hearn continued about Fury. “You have to give him [Ngannou] credit because no matter how poor Tyson Fury was, he still went in there and beat him, in my opinion.
“I’d still be a bit surprised if February even worked [for Fury to return to fight Oleksandr Usyk]. I think it gives him enough time, four or five weeks, to lick his wounds and then maybe get back into camp.
“I did. I thought he was the favorite going into the fight, but I don’t think he’s the favorite anymore,” said Hearn when asked if Fury’s performance against Ngannou affected his view of Fury’s chances against Usyk. “I don’t think he’s the fighter that he was, but I do expect him to be better in the Usyk fight.
“There was definitely an element that he was either undermotivated or underprepared against Ngannou. Still, it was a shocking performance, and it would certainly make me consider my pick if that fight actually happens,” said Hearn.