Joshua vs Wilder in 2018? Americans not familiar with AJWritten by Joseph Herron
On Saturday, October 28, current IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua once again failed to score a knockout on American television.
The reigning undefeated IBF and WBA champ improved his unblemished record to a perfect 20-0 with 20 KOs by scoring a technical stoppage victory over the always troublesome Carlos Takam of Cameroon in front of 78K British fight fans, but did very little to excite audiences stateside.
The heavyweight title fight was presented by Showtime Championship Boxing and drew a dismal 334,000 viewers on average, according to statistics released today by Nielsen Media Research.
The heavyweight showcase was the fifth bout featuring the popular British champion and the fourth to average less than 400K viewers during the live broadcast. The only broadcast to eclipse the meager mark was A.J.'s pairing with Wladimir Klitschko, which averaged 659,000 viewers.
This creates a genuine problem for promoters and networks within the U.S. fight market who are interested in pitting their respective athlete with the current British titlist.
Because Joshua remains the biggest boxing draw in Europe, selling a combined 160K tickets in his two most recent events in London, England, and Cardiff, Wales respectively, there is no real incentive for the British Heavyweight to compete within the American sports entertainment market. This creates a quandary for current WBC Heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder, who coincidentally will appear on the premium cable network this Saturday night from Brooklyn, New York.
Although Joshua is a legitimate rockstar and a massive ticket seller within the U.K., he remains a relative unknown in the states and a lesser box office draw than Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin and even Deontay Wilder in the U.S. The native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama can increase his marketability and elevate demand for a potential unification bout opposite Joshua with an explosive and dramatic performance this weekend, but would realistically have to travel across the Atlantic to negotiate such an undertaking with A.J.
The money is currently in the U.K. fight market, not in the U.S.A.
Because the American sports entertainment market is actively saturated with other popular leagues like NFL. MLB, NBA and NCAA, it makes more sense to stage fights of this nature in a less competitive area like the U.K