Anthony Joshua set a new record of 1.6million pay-per-view buys for his rematch with Andy Ruiz.
The heavyweight rematch, controversially staged in Saudi Arabia, saw Joshua regain his WBA (Super), IBF and WBO titles from Ruiz.
The fight was a far cry from the firefight at Madison Square Garden six months ago, as Joshua opted to outbox Ruiz over 12 rounds.
With many in the boxing world believing Joshua’s career was on the line against Ruiz, the Daily Mail claims the buzz around the fight translated into huge pay-per-view figures for Sky Sports.
Fans were furious Sky Sports increased their usual price for a pay-per-view to £24.95 for the rematch, but it did not stop people from splashing out for the bout.
The previous biggest seller was Joshua’s 2017 showdown with Wladimir Klitschko, which will go down as one of the best heavyweight wars in boxing history.
Joshua’s unification blockbuster against Joseph Parker was second in the UK pay-per-view record books, and the British heavyweight now occupies the entirety of the top three.
Fighting in the Middle East guaranteed Joshua a £46m purse and the record-breaking pay-per-view figures in the UK will ensure AJ surpasses the £50m mark. Joshua can now set his sights on becoming undisputed heavyweight champion, but the 30-year-old has to contend with two mandatories.
The IBF and WBO have called their mandatories following Joshua’s victory and the British star might be forced to vacate one of the titles.
Eddie Hearn suggested after the fight there was a chance Joshua could come to an agreement with the sanctioning bodies which would see him fight their mandatory challengers over the course of 2020. Kubrat Pulev, mandatory challenger to the IBF title, is leading the race to be Joshua’s next opponent, ahead of WBO’s No.1 contender Oleksandr Usyk.