Hoping for title fight, Pulev asks Court for Andy Ruiz contract

October 14, 2019

Heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev asked a New York federal court access to obtain Andy Ruiz’s contract from the short-lived lawsuit in August between Ruiz’s management and that of Anthony Joshua. The Court denied the letter request but left open the question if Pulev were to bring a motion before the Court.

The lawsuit was filed to the parties agreeing to a rematch of Ruiz’s upset victory this past June.  In the lawsuit filed in New York, Matchroom Boxing, Joshua’s promoter, sued TGB Promotions and Ruiz for breach of contract.

Matchroom Boxing claimed that the Provision of Services Agreement entered into by Ruiz included language which allowed Matchroom the right to choose the venue for the fight.  Ruiz claimed that he would have any rematch with Joshua in the United States despite the inference that Matchroom controlled the rights to a rematch.  Notably, the lawsuit has redacted passages from the contract which Pulev’s camp would like to see as a potential next opponent for the winner.

Matchroom claims that TGB Promotions has done nothing to correct Ruiz about solidifying the rematch in terms of place and price.  Moreover, Matchroom claims that TGB has threatened to sue based on defamation charges.

While the squabble over venue has been rectified with the dismissal of the lawsuit, an interesting ex parte motion took place last week when Pulev’s attorney sought the POS Agreement from Ruiz that was filed under seal in the lawsuit.  The Court was to decide the sealing of the contract on August 30th but the parties resolved the matter on August 26th rendering the sealing of the POS Agreement moot.  However, the Court noted that Plaintiffs had failed to show adequate support for sealing of the POS Agreement which Pulev used as argument to unseal the document for public view.

Endorsed Letter Re Pulev – … by Jason Cruz on Scribd

The Court denied the request by Pulev but noted that if it were to bring it with proper notice to Joshua and Ruiz it would consider the request.  This would allow the parties to argue their points to seal or not seal the contract.

Pulev is contending that Ruiz should have to defend the IBF heavyweight title against the number 1 challenger, Pulev, instead of a rematch with Ruiz.  Also, it argues that Ruiz was to have requested and paid the exception fee to allow for a “step-aside” to defend against Pulev.  Pulev claims that Joshua paid the $20,000 exception fee on behalf of Ruiz.

Specifically, Pulev believes that there is a prohibited rematch clause per IBF Rule 3.B:

No contract for a Championship contest shall contain any clause or any provision, whatsoever, guaranteeing or in any way assuring or promising either contestant a return Championship contest where such clause or provision interferes with the mandatory defense of a title.

Pulev appealed the exception allowed by the IBF last week.  One has to believe that this was denied since the $20,000 fee was paid.  Pulev is looking for the contract to see if it might have legal grounds to sue and prevent the Joshua-Ruiz fight from having the fight.  One has to think that the strategy is to seek an injunction of the fight scheduled for Saudi Arabia.  While this may not happen, this uprising by Pulev may get it some sort of assurance to fight the winner of Joshua-Ruiz.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

GGG gets $7.5 equity stake in DAZN parent as part of fight purse

October 5, 2019

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports the purses for Saturday night’s fight on DAZN for the vacant middleweight title between Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

According to Rafael, GGG will receive $7.5 million in cash and $7.5 million in DAZN parent company equity.  Derevyanchenko will receive a guaranteed payout of $5.2 million but it is being reported as a $4 million purse.

The $7.5 million in equity for GGG is a rather unique way to pay a fighter.  One would have to question whether taking equity in the parent company is better than actual cash…or vice versa.  Certainly, an equity stake could be much more than the cash at the time.  Then again, the actual cash value give the individual the freedom to invest however they wish.  Moreover, the terms as to when GGG could cash out on the equity should be taken into consideration.  Obviously, if it believed that the company could grow, the equity stake could be a valuable commodity.

Report: Spence-Porter PPV tracking over 300K buys

October 1, 2019

The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reports that Saturday night’s PBC event featuring Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter is “tracking over 300,000 buys” with the likelihood of it landing somewhere “under 350K.”

It was the second PPV featuring Spence as he defeated Porter in a very exciting fight meaning from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Previously, Spence drew 360,000 last March in a fight with Mikey Garcia

It was announced after the fight that Spence would be returning to PPV in January against Danny Garcia.  The news of the buys for this fight is promising for Fox PPV and PBC considering they would like to build around Spence.

The buy rate is an absolute win and you may infer that the Fox shoulder programming helped with promoting the event including the cross-promotion of it on with the NFL.


Will the casual boxing fans buy Spence-Porter?

September 28, 2019

Saturday night Errol Spence meets Shawn Porter at Staples Center highlighting Fox’s latest PPV effort.  The PPV will be another test to see how much the pull of boxing PPV.

To its credit, Fox has backed this event with shoulder programming.  Notably, its PBC specific shows focusing on the fight have scored well in ratings in recent weeks.  PFC Face-to-Face featuring the two fighters averaged 334,000 last Sunday while PBC Fight Camp grabged 334,000 viewers.  Also, Porter appeared on Fox NFL Sunday for a segment which posted 4.817M viewers per Fox Media.  Fox promoting the fight during its NFL games have also assisted in getting a casual boxing fan to take notice of the PPV event Saturday.

The cross-promotion by Fox is similar to what it did for the UFC when the two companies were partners.  It helped for the UFC, will it help for the PBC?

One would think so.  But, if you are a fan that casually follows the sport, its hard not to forget the last Fox PPV (not including Manny Pacquiao).  Spence defeated Mikey Garcia this past March in what was an easy walkover for Spence over an overmatched, yet talented Garcia.  The matchup was a mismatch considering Garcia was fighting up in weight class which seemed to be a distinct disadvantage for him.  Yet, the PPV drew 360,000 buys for an event that drew over 47,000 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Can PBC replicate the same buy rate?  Kevin Iole doesn’t think so.

It’s hard not to disagree with this projection if you factor in what some may have seen in March with Spence-Garcia.  Yet, if you believe that the NFL push may have gain some traction with a casual fan, it could near what March’s PPV could do.

Certainly, there are some boxing fans that believe that the matchup is the ‘best you can do’ given that Terrence Crawford is a Top Rank promoted fighter.  Odds say that Spence wins via Unanimous Decision.  There is talk that the winner would face Manny Pacquiao although many would like to see the eventual showdown with Crawford.

For Spence, Saturday’s fight will help solidify him as a PPV draw.  He’s one of the best boxers in the world and despite his talent in the ring, he has not broken through as a recognizable star for the casual boxing fan.  There was the ratings for his one fight on NBC after the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team which drew 4.8 million viewers, but there was a set of circumstances (namely the Olympic team) that facilitated that big rating.  One wonders if another UD over Porter will get him the notoriety he deserves or will this be another stepping stone to either Pacquiao to get him mainstream praise.

In any event, Saturday’s PBC event at Staples Center should be interesting not for just the action in the ring but what transpires with business after.

PBC on FS1 draws 282,000 viewers

September 24, 2019

PBC on FS1 Saturday night drew 282,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily. The event featured Alfredo Angulo as he defeated Peter Quillin via split decision.

The event took place in Bakersfield, California at the Rabobank Arena.

In addition, Thomas Dulorme defeated Terrel Williams in a co-feature on the event.

Payout Perspective:

This past August, PBC on FS1 drew 345,000 viewers making it the best rating on the network since January. The 282,000 viewers is fairly strong for this event and at a late time slot on Saturday night.

Povetkin-Wilder lawsuit finally over

September 24, 2019

The long, winding and bitter lawsuit between Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin and his promoter World of Boxing has come to an end with the parties stipulating an end to their lawsuit via a filing last week.

The two boxers were scheduled to fight in May 2016 in Russia but due to a failed drug test for Meldonium by Povetkin, the fight was called off. Semantics may have come in to play as Wilder claimed that Povetkin’s drug test cancelled the fight while Povetkin and his promoter claimed that Wilder’s refusal to come to Russia for the event forced the hand of the WBC to continue the fight.

Dueling lawsuits occurred with a contentious battle between the parties.  Despite a trial which saw a jury determine that Povetkin ingested Meldonium, siding with Wilder’s side, the case did not end there.  Yet, after trial, the Court sided with Povetkin and World of Boxing in its Summary Judgment motion deferring to the WBC’s Bout Agreement which was subject to the World Boxing Council’s Rules and Regulations.

The District Court’s Summary Judgment decision was appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals where the court affirmed the lower court’s decision.  After the ruling there were threats to appeal the ruling to a full court of appellate judges or even the U.S. Supreme Court.  However, those threats went by the wayside as the parties agreed to the dismissal of the lawsuit.  Despite still having a defamation claim against Wilder, Povetkin and World of Boxing agreed to drop the claim.  The parties agreed not to pursue any costs it may have been entitled to.

The END by Jason Cruz on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

It’s likely that the parties wanted to put an end to this lawsuit and agreed to dismiss Povetkin’s alleged defamation claim against Wilder.  Notably, the escrow money in the amount of over $4.36 million that was left by the parties will go back to World of Boxing.  This is likely one of the reasons that Povetkin and World of Boxing was willing to concede on its defamation claim and costs it was entitled to as part of being the prevailing party.

DAZN signs first U.S. distribution deal with Comcast

September 19, 2019

The Sports Business Daily reports that DAZN has signed with Comcast for the digital platform’s first U.S. distribution deal.  Those wishing to watch DAZN still must subscribe separately from their Comcast contract.

According to the report, DAZN will be available for Comcast internet customers that use the Xfinity Flex box for streaming apps as well as the Xfinity X1 set-top boxes.  The deal will begin October 5th with DAZN’s card featuring GGG and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

A spokesperson for DAZN noted that it was the company’s first distribution agreement in North America but it would not be its last.  It also expects to attempt to replicate this model in other countries.

Payout Perspective:

The purpose of the strategy is to make DAZN easier and quicker to find to subscribe to and better to watch per DAZN.  With Comcast signing on, those that subscribe to cable will be able to watch the app as part of the cable company’s online offerings.  While the strategy is somewhat contrary to the purpose of having an online platform, it makes sense for the company to make an effort to broker distribution deals with such a robust lineup of content coming this fall.  Does the distribution strategy make sense for a company that wants customers to pay a monthly subscription in addition to its cable bill?  One might suspect that despite the cord cutters out there, there is a certain level of consumer willing to do both subscriptions and keep their regular cable/satellite.

Fury receives $1M, Wallin $250K per NAC

September 15, 2019

Brent Bookhouse of CBS Sports reported the payouts from Saturday night’s Tyson Fury-Otto Wallin fight.  Fury defeated Wallin via Unanimous Decision in Las Vegas.

Via Nevada Athletic Commission:

Tyson Fury  $1 million

Otto Wallin  $250,000


Emmanuel Navarrete  $220,000

Juan Miguel Elorde  $40,000


Jose Zepeda  $90,000

Jose Gonzalez  $120,000


Felix Alvarez  $40,000

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy  $15,000


Jose Cardenas  $20,000

Carlos Cuardras  $50,000


Ruben Hernandez  $5,000

Isaac Lowe  $10,000


Miguel Perez  $10,000

Gabriel Flores  $10,000


Iskander Kharsan  $8,000

Isidro Ochoa $6,000


Guido Vianello  $10,000

Cassius Anderson  $6,000


Abram Martinez  $4,000

Kevin Johnson  $6,000

Diaz-Masvidal announced for UFC 244 in New York

September 7, 2019

ESPN reports that Nate Diaz will face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 on November 2nd in New York’s Madison Square Garden.  The fight was the one Diaz called for after his defeat of Anthony Pettis last month.

White indicated that it was the fight “fans wanted to see.”  Masvidal is coming off of his highlight-reel KO of Ben Askren and the subsequent fame he’s received since the fastest KO in UFC history.

The fight will pit two of the hottest stars in the UFC as both fighters’ profiles have risen.

Payout Perspective:

This main event should bring a lot of buzz.  Diaz has become a superstar and his return to the Octagon last month showed his popularity with fans.  Similarly, Masvidal’s KO is still something fans are talking about since this past July.  The fight should prove to be a slugfest of two athletes that like to fight.  Also, with news that Canelo Alvarez will face Sergey Kovalev on the same night, the Diaz-Masvidal fight should compete with the built-in Canelo fans

PBC on Fox peaks with 1.492M viewers during Lara-Alvarez

September 5, 2019

PBC on Fox drew 1.171 million viewers per Nielsen as the telecast Saturday night peaked with 1.492 million fans watching the main event between Erisandy Lara and Ramon Alvarez.

The undercard rating averages were as follos:

Sanchez v. Bisbal:  951,000 viewers

Fundora v. Clark:  1.075M viewers

Lara v. Alvarez:  1.492M viewers

The telecast peaked in the overrun during the end of the Lara fight.

Additionally, Fox Deportes added 61,000 viewers for the telecast and Fox Sports streaming services had an average minute audience of 5,647.

The post-match Saturday night drew 1,342,000 viewers.

PBC Face to Face on Sunday on Fox drew 334,000 viewers while PBC Fight Camp drew 286,000.

Payout Perspective:

The event did not do as well as this past August’s PBC on Fox event with Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola in the feature.   Its worthy to note that the main event did better than July’s PBC on Fox event featuring Caleb Plant (which drew 1,141,000 viewers).  The July telecast on Fox served as a pre-PPV event prior to Pacquiao-Thurman.  The ratings did well up against a big college football matchup between Oregon and Auburn on ABC.

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