REPORT | Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou did better PPV numbers than first believed

By Josh Evanoff - November 7, 2023

According to Ariel Helwani, Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou’s boxing match was far more successful than first thought.

Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou

‘The Gypsy King’ and ‘The Predator’ faced off in a high-profile boxing match last month in Saudi Arabia. The two headlined an ESPN pay-per-view offering, with Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou in the main event. Despite the boxer heading into the matchup a massive favorite, it didn’t look that way on fight night.

In round three, Francis Ngannou scored a rare knockdown of the boxing champion. While the former UFC champion did better than expected, Tyson Fury still emerged with a split-decision victory. In the process, he kept his February title unification with Oleksandr Usyk still alive.

However, the pay-per-view reportedly didn’t do very well. As reported by Dave Meltzer in the aftermath of the event, Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou did under 100k buys in the United States. Obviously, that’s just one market, but it’s still a disappointing number. However, Ariel Helwani has a much different figure.

On The MMA Hour, the longtime journalist alleged that Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou did over 400,000 buys. While the final number hasn’t been tallied, Helwani alleged that’s the bare minimum for the event.


Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou

Image via: @queensberrypromotions

“Let’s just say it didn’t do over 100 [thousand buys in America], that’s Saturday afternoon/American pay-per-view numbers.” Ariel Helwani stated on The MMA Hour discussing Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou. “That’s completely ignoring the fact that it also aired on TNT Sports Box Office, in the U.K. where Tyson is his biggest draw. That’s where he has his most drawing power, in the U.K, he’s British.”

He continued, “…[That’s] ignoring that [Canada] number, ESPN+ is not in Canada, and also ignoring the DAZN number. Which aired everywhere but the U.S., U.K., and Ireland. You’re ignoring all these numbers! I can tell you with great certainty right now, being extremely conservative as I say this, the number you shouldn’t be throwing in my face is 75k, isn’t even 100.”

“The number you should be throwing in my face is 400k, and I feel confident it will be above that.”

What do you make of this report from Ariel Helwani? Did you buy Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou?


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