By Chris Williams: Tyson Fury’s last fight against Otto Wallin brought in a dreadfully poor 3,577 tickets on September 14 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, according The Sun.The arena has a seating capacity of 20,000.
There were 3,898 complimentary tickets given away to fans. All total, the attendance for Fury vs. Wallin was 7,475 fans. The majority of those fans were ones that were given free tickets.
Fury-Wallin ticket numbers dwarfed by Canelo’s last fight against Jacobs
Compare those numbers to the ticket sales for last May’s fight between WBA/WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. IBF champ Danny Jacobs, which brought in 16,758 fans at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. This is what we’re looking at:
- Tyson Fury vs. Otto Wallin: 3,577 tickets sold
- Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Danny Jacobs: 16,758 tickets purchased
Top Rank might be better off getting out of the heavyweight business, and instead focus on middleweights. That’s the logical way of looking at it. If Top Rank had someone like Anthony Joshua or Andy Ruiz Jr. in their stable, then another be another story.
The sad thing is, Top Rank previously promoted Ruiz Jr., and they weren’t able to put him in the big fights that would have given him the opportunity for him to show what he could do. The only interesting fight that Ruiz had while promoted by Top Rank was his 2016 match against Joseph Parker, and he lost that fight by a controversial decision. This writer saw that fight and scored it for Ruiz 10 round to 2.
Fury has now had 2 fights under ESPN’s banner
This was Fury’s second fight for Top Rank and ESPN signing with them. His first fight under contract with them was a mismatch against German heavyweight Tom Schwarz last June at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Although Fury won the fight by a 2nd round knockout, Schwarz looked so bad that Fury didn’t get credit for beating him. Many fans walked away, shaking their heads at such a poor match-up.
The fans weren’t clueless. They saw with their own eyes that Fury had been put in with a soft touch in what looked to be an effort to make him look better than he is. In the past match-making like that used to work with boxing fans. It doesn’t work in this era. Fans are savvy, and they know when fighters are being put in with mediocre opposition. The fans insist on quality match-making, and when that doesn’t happen, you get the kind of turnout that we saw with the Fury vs. Wallin fight with only 3,577 tickets sold.
If these low numbers for Fury’s ticket sales represent a trend with the 6’9″ British heavyweight, Top Rank might need to look to move on and end the experience. If they have an escape clause in Fury’s contract, it’ll be interesting to see if they use it. Fury has got to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a rematch at some point next year. Given Fury’s horribly bad ticket sales numbers for the Wallin fight, his rematch with Wilder may not bring in the numbers that will make his promoters happy.
Did Top Rank make mistake matching Fury with Wallin?
This was not the numbers obviously that Fury’s American promoters were expecting at Top Rank when they decided to have him fight unknown Swedish heavyweight Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs).
Before the fight, this writer saw Top Rank making a HUGE mistake in having Fury, who isn’t well known to the casual boxing fans in the U.S, fight obscure heavyweight Wallin. It a crazy move that had failure written all over it going into the fight. Rather than waiting until a quality heavyweight came available for Fury to fight, Top Rank went ahead and matched him against the 6’6″ Wallin on the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo.
The fight didn’t make sense nor did the undercard in having WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete facing an over-matched Juan Miguel Elorde. Few boxing fans had ever heard of Elorde before, and the fight was as one-sided as they come.
Why was Fury allowed to fight with horrible cut?
Fury suffered a horrible cut over his right eye in the 3rd round that later required 47 stitches to close up. With Fury suffering a cut that would have led to most fights being stopped, he was allowed to stay in the fight for some reason.
Some boxing fans think the fight would have been stopped if Wallin, the B-side fighter, had been the one that suffered the huge gash over his eye. In other words, a lot of fans think Fury was shown favoritism by the fight not being stopped.
Letting Fury fight 12 rounds with a cut like the one he suffered doesn’t have a good ending, because the cut likely worsened. As such, Fury’s next fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is in jeopardy for February 22. The fight is still scheduled for that date, but if Fury goes ahead and takes it, he could see his cut re-opened by the hard.
Fury’s rematch with Wilder at risk
If Top Rank goes ahead and has Fury take the fight with Wilder on February 22, you have to wonder if they’re cashing out with the 6’9″ British heavyweight. Look at it this way: If Fury gets blasted apart like a piece of pottery by Wilder on February 22, then the tickets for Fury’s subsequent fights under contract with Top Rank are likely to be as low if not lower than the numbers or the Wallin fight. Will Top Rank good be good with that?
“Tyson has had his stitches out on Monday in Manchester and now he is just at home and chilling out with his family. I spoke to him and he told me it is all good and looking great,” said Fury’s promoter Frank Warren to thesun.co.uk. “As much as the cuts looked horrific and there was a lot of blood, the cuts were quite straight lacerations, they were not jagged and they did not tear into the muscle.”
Even if Fury’s two cuts do heal by February 22, how long will they stay intact before Wilder pops them open with one of his powerful right hands? Not long.