Ward-Kovalev II disappoints with gate, PPV

July 7, 2017

The rematch for the Andre Ward/Sergey Kovalev fight last month proved to be a financial bust according to the reported gate and PPV buys.

Ward received $6.5M for the fight while Kovalev’s pay was tied to the percentage of tickets and PPV revenue.  I’m not sure who decided this for Kovalev, but based on the low financial numbers, he will not be compensated commensurate to Ward’s guarantee.

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports first reported that the rematch did only 130,000 PPV buys (other sources had it at 135,000 buys) which is less than the 160,000 to 165,000 estimated that the two drew in November.

According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael there were only 6,366 tickets sold for the rematch at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  Roc Nation, the promoter of the fight, announced a crowd of 10,592 on fight night.  There were 2,113 complimentary tickets given out from 10,748 available per the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Payout Perspective:

The under-performance has to be a disappointment when you consider that the anticipation for the first fight and the fact the two came through with a great performance.  Yet, there was no appetite for this fight at the gate and with the number of PPV buys.  A less-than stellar Jessie Vargas-Manny Pacquiao in early November 2016 drew around 300,00 buys which more than doubles last month rematch.  This goes to show you that a fighter’s brand means more than matchups as one has to consider that the Ward/Kovalev rematch had to be much more competitive than Vargas-Pacquiao.

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