Hearing that the Kovalev-Ward PPV numbers are going to come in in the low 160s.
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) November 28, 2016
When Andre Ward took on Sergei Kovalev, boxing fans saw two of the pound-for-pound best put their world titles on the line. It was the classic matchup between a power puncher and a boxing technician. Andre Ward won a narrow, unanimous decision. The only notable PPV program that had fewer PPV buys than Ward-Kovalev was Crawford-Postol, which earned in the 50k-60k range.
A matchup between two of the best boxers in the world drew fewer PPV buys than the vast majority of UFC PPV programs, even those that are considered weak. I believe the lack of buys is indicative of the little brand value that boxing has. Neither of these fighters are well known in public nor do they necessarily have the personalities to force themselves into the mainstream arena. Boxing is still suffering from the vacuum created after Mayweather-Pacquiao. It seems like McGregor and the UFC have filled the void.