Joshua v Ruiz fight in Riyadh was record-breaking, massive success: Hearn

British boxer Anthony Joshua fought Mexican-American boxer Andy Ruiz Jr in the fight dubbed “Clash on the Dunes” in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. (AFP)

The Clash on the Dunes boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia made a record-breaking estimated £40 million from pay-per-view sales.

“We broke the record,” said promoter Eddie Hearn, referring to Sky’s UK pay-per-view record.

The fight, which Joshua won to regain his heavyweight titles, was bought 1.6 million times, said Hearn. Considering the fight cost £24.95, this would put the overall sales at £40 million.

The record was previously held by Joshua’s 2017 fight against Wladimir Klitschko, which was bought 1.53 million times.

“It's massive, massive, just a monstrous success,” Hearn told reporters.

Hearn also said that people from Saudi Arabia had told him the fight “changed the face of sport in this country.”

Joshua regained the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles by points (118-110, 118-110, and 119-109) on Saturday, in Saudi Arabia’s 15,000-seater purpose-built Diriyah Arena.

The fight was one of a series of high-profile sports and entertainment events that have been hosted in the Kingdom during the last year.

The event took place under the umbrella of the “Diriyah Season” program which is running from November 22 to December 21.

So far, the season has included the Diriyah E-Prix 2019, the equivalent of Formula One for electric cars, and a range of music concerts by international stars including Usher, Pitbull, and Lil Wayne.

On Wednesday, the Kingdom is hosting the Diriyah Tennis Cup, the first professional tennis tournament ever to be staged in Saudi Arabia.

The Diriyah Season events are the latest in a series of seasons which have brought music and sport across the Kingdom. The previous Riyadh Season saw K-pop band BTS perform to their Saudi Arabian fans in the capital.

The development of the entertainment and sports sector is in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to diversify the Saudi Arabian economy and develop new sectors.

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Last Update: 09:22 KSA 12:22 - GMT 09:22
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