clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ward-Kovalev II predictably flops on PPV

The show is reported to have sold roughly 125,000 PPVs, with a poor live gate.

Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev 2 Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Well, reports are beginning to surface and they’re not so good. According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev did even worse business than their first meeting, selling only about 125,000 PPVs (with their first fight selling 160,000).

But if viewership from the rebroadcast this past weekend is any indicator, it wasn’t because people generally didn’t care for this fight (HBO averaged 752,000 viewers for the re-airing on Saturday), but probably more because fans have been suffering from PPV fatigue over the past couple years. All of that may not mean much to you as fans, but it should certainly mean something to Sergey Kovalev, who basically has his entire purse predicated on PPV sales.

What’s worse is that there are additional reports floating around that the live gate didn’t do well either, selling several thousand less tickets than the first fight. As a best case scenario, even if the live gate matched that of their first fight and we were to add that to the PPV revenue, in the end it would amount to barely enough to cover Andre Ward’s guaranteed $6.5M purse. So not only does Kovalev walk away from the rematch with an unsatisfying stoppage loss, he’s been KO’d in the pocketbook to boot.

This is not at all surprisingly considering how poorly the rematch was promoted, and some even believe the lack of promotion was a deliberate ploy by Ward’s team in an effort to sabotage Kovalev’s earnings. Obviously that’s not something we can truly verify, because it’s not like Roc Nation would openly admit to that even if it were true, but for a truly marquee fight between top pound-for-pound fighters in the primes, the entire promotion was conspicuously inconspicuous.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook