By Chris Williams: Tyson Fury vs. Otto Wallin haven’t produced many ticket sales according to Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn for this Saturday’s fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hearn says the Fury-Wallin fight has sold around 1500 tickets, and that “no one is going to watch it.” Hearn believes that Fury’s promoters at Top Rank have made a mistake in putting him in another poor fight.
This is Fury’s second fight with the American promotional company. In Fury’s previous fight, he was matched against a dreadful opponent in Tom Schwarz, who he knocked out in 2 rounds last June. Instead of upgrading Fury’s opponent, Top Rank has matched him against another poor heavyweight in Wallin (20-0, 13 KO), and the fans aren’t interested, says Hearn.
Hearn: Fury vs. Wallin = exhibition level fight
“I saw it as an exhibition, because the fights so bad,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to Fighthype about the Fury vs. Wallin fight. “Top Rank and ESPN have got to be throwing up. They’ve sold like 1500 tickets for Saturday night. No one is going to be watching. All the momentum Fury had off the back of the [Deontay] Wilder fight. Where’s it gone? We’re trying to build towards a monster second fight.
To take two poor fights like that and waste your year, good luck to Tyson Fury. He’s being given fights he can’t lose, but isn’t that boring? You’ve got a fight taking place this Saturday, and no one is even mentioning it. He’s supposed to be the best heavyweight in the world. Anthony Joshua just lost, and he can sneeze on a camera, and the world’s watching. It’s crazy,” said Hearn.
Hearn says he sees Fury-Wallin fight as essentially an “exhibition” level fight due it being such a mismatch. While Hearn likes Wallin, he sees him as having no chance of beating Fury (28-0-1 20 KO) on Saturday. Hearn says the fans aren’t falling for it, and that only 1,500 tickets have been sold. However, Hearn says if Joshua were fighting Wallin, the fight would sell over 20,000 tickets. Hearn thinks it’s a mistake on Top Rank’s part to put him in with two mediocre heavyweights back to back.
Hearn says fans not talking about Fury-Wallin
“Your profile in boxing can dip very quickly,” said Hearn to Behind the Gloves in talking about Fury. “So if you look at where Fury was last year after the Deontay Wilder fight to where he is now, he doesn’t care, by the way. He’s making a load of money to fight fights he can’t lose. But Bob Arum, Top Rank and ESPN should be carrying, because they’re spending a lot of money on fights that don’t drive subscriptions, and ticket sales. And that’s their job just like it’s my job. So when I do a fight that doesn’t work, Bob gives me a lot of stick. So I’m going to do just the same.
This fight [Fury vs. Wallin] is a shambles. You’ve got what some believe is the best heavyweight in the world [Tyson Fury], who some call the lineal champion of the world, selling 1500 tickets in Las Vegas in a fight no one is even talking about. Liken that Anthony Joshua, who if he was fighting Otto Wallin, there would be 20,000 people over there, and everyone would be talking about it. But guess what? Joshua doesn’t take fights like that.
Hearn is wrong. Fans are talking about Fury-Wallin. The problem is, they’re not saying good things about it, and there’s not a lot of buzz. You get that when fights are considered a mismatch, and that’s what we have here with Fury vs. Wallin.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 11, 2019
Fury fighting weak opponents bad for boxing says Hearn
“I wish people would give Joshua credit, because he consistently fought top 15 heavyweight guys, top 10 guys, and fought his mandatory’s,” said Hearn. “He’s had fights against Klitschko, [Carlos] Takam, Joseph Parker, [Alexander] Povetkin, Ruiz, Ruiz, right? There’s no easy ones. AJ is going to be now, ‘everyone else is doing it. Maybe I should fight one of these guys like Tom Schwarz the next time out. Sometimes you can get away with one.
Getting away with two is greedy, and that’s come back to bite him in the [backside], because it’s not good for boxing. You see him in there. Tyson is such a great fighter, but it’s almost like an exhibition. He comes in with his mask yesterday and a headband. They’re bluffing the public, and the public is waking up, and they’re not buying it. So until he gets in with Wilder, we’ll see. I like Otto Wallin. He’s a real nice guy, but he can’t beat Tyson Fury nor can Tom Schwarz. Why would you want to watch a fight like that?” said Hearn.
It’s not a good thing that Fury has stopped fighting quality opposition since his 12 round draw against Deontay Wilder. Hearn thinks Fury has ruined the popularity that he got from his fight with Wilder by taking soft opponents. The 12th round knockdown Fury suffered at the hands of Wilder may have caused him to lose interest in fighting high caliber opposition. Who could blame Fury for having drive to fight the best. When a fighter suffers a knockout like Fury did in the 12th, it hurts their confidence.
Fury’s profile is diminishing – no one is watching says Hearn
“He can try it,” said Hearn when told that Fury recently said he can beat Oleksandr Usyk with one hand tied behind his back. “We’ll let him use two hands. We don’t need him to have one tied up. He can have both hands, and can fight Oleksandr Usyk. Listen, Fury is a brilliant fighter. This isn’t a criticism of Fury as a fighter or as a person or personality. He doesn’t care because he’s getting paid, but his profile is diminishing consistently. No one is watching.
This whole thing, ‘He’s fighting on ESPN. It’s going to be massive.’ He’s watching on an app that no one is watching, because no one even knows the fight is happening. They’re not exactly building Fury vs. Wilder 2. At least with Wilder, he’s fighting Luis Ortiz. That’s a dangerous fight. Fury on the other hand is getting paid a lot of money to fight fights that nobody wants to see,” said Hearn.
We’ll find out soon if Fury’s profile has diminished or not when the ratings are released for his fight with Wallin on ESPN+. It’s not the type of fight that will bring in a lot of new subscriptions. It’s the wrong opponent for that date. If Fury was going to take Canelo’s September 14th date, he should have at least pressed Top Rank to put him in with a good opponent.
Fury moved his fight from October to September 14 when Canelo chose not to fight on that date
“What people don’t know is I wasn’t supposed to box this weekend,” said Fury. “I was supposed to box in early October to mid-October, and when we heard Canelo Alvarez wasn’t going to be fighting on the Mexican Independence Day weekend, I though, damn, what a shock. This has been a special weekend for many events every year in boxing. So I thought the Mexican people aren’t going to have an attraction, and main event. And, so I need to step in. So I brought my fight date four weeks closer. So the Mexican people could have a massive superstar fighter box on this weekend,” said Fury.
The Fury-Wallin undercard fights may prove to be far more entertaining for boxing fans than the main event. Top Rank has a couple of good fights involving these fighters:
- Emanuel Navarrete vs. Juan Miguel Elorde
- Jose Pedraza vs. Jose Zepeda
Pedraza-Zepeda is an excellent fight, and one that should be competitive. Navarrete is likely going to destroy Elorde. However, Navarrete is easily the most exciting fighter on this Saturday’s Top Rank Boxing card.
Arum chimes in on Fury moving his fight date
“He’s telling the truth,” said Top Rank Promoter Arum. “Really, he’s supposed to fight on October 5. He calls up, and says, ‘Look, the date’s open. I’m half Mexican. I want to fight on that date.’ That’s the truth,” said Arum.