Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum doesn’t expect the upcoming Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz fight to do well.
Davis will defend his WBA (Regular) lightweight title while also looking to win the WBA (Super) super featherweight title when he faces Santa Cruz this Saturday.
The event will notably be on pay-per-view with a steep price of $75. And for that reason alone, Arum expects the fight to do no business especially during a pandemic.
Top Rank, meanwhile, have Naoya Inoue defending his bantamweight titles against Jason Maloney on the same day which will be broadcast to ESPN+ subscribers. A yearly subscription to ESPN+ costs $49.99 in comparison.
“Ours, you do have to be a subscriber,” Arum told Bad Left Hook. “They are gonna do no business.”
“It’s not because it’s not a good fight, but asking people to pay that during the pandemic, it’s ridiculous. The only way pay-per-view works, for forever, is when you can get a bunch of people over your house.”
Considering Vasily Lomachenko’s recent lightweight title fight with Teofimo Lopez was broadcast on free television along with ESPN+, it seems a huge ask for boxing fans to pay to watch Davis vs. Santa Cruz even during pre-pandemic times, especially as they aren’t mainstream stars.
Add in the fact that there is further competition in the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora heavyweight fight in the United Kingdom and UFC Vegas 12 taking place on the same day and Arum certainly makes a good point.
It will definitely be interesting to see the pay-per-view buy numbers following this weekend.
Do you agree with Arum?