By Matt Lieberman: Eddie Hearn predicts that next month’s mega-bout between Ryan Garcia and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis fight will do between 700,000 to 800,000 pay-per-view buys on Showtime, but NOT the crazy 2 million buy totals that some are talking about.
Hearn believes if they work really hard in the promotion of the event, Ryan vs. Tank will hit the 1 million PPV mark. It’s possible, but it’ll take work, and thus far, the two haven’t done much other than their two press conferences.
You’re not seeing Ryan (23-0, 19 KOs) and Gervonta out and about, giving countless interviews and appearing on TV the way more ambitious fighters do when they’re trying to sell a fight.
Mostly, it appears that Tank (28-0, 26 KOs) and Ryan are going to focus on selling their fight by focusing on social media posts, posting to their millions of followers, and letting them amplify their messages to the rest of the world.
Whether that will be enough to bring in more than 1 million buys is the magic question.
“I find Gervonta a favorite in the fight, but I liked what I saw of Ryan Garcia,” said Eddie Hearn to Fighthype. “I said to Saul, ‘Gervonta realizes how dangerous this fight is,’ which surprised me a little bit.
“Ryan can really punch, but we have seen him on the floor against Luke Campbell. Luke Campbell was a world-class fighter, but not consistently at the level that Gervonta has. So there’s a lot of unanswered questions about Ryan Garcia.
“He might get steamrolled and knocked out, but I have a feeling he might win. I don’t think so, but he can obviously punch with the left hook,” Hearn said when told that Tank Davis said that Ryan is a “one trick pony,” and all he has is a “left hook.”
“He’s a dangerous fighter, but so is Gervonta. There is [a height difference between Tank and Ryan] but not as much as some people thought. He’s clearly the bigger guy, but Gervonta is very strong.
“For once, I agree with [Showtime Sports president] Stephen Espinoza. What did he say? 700 or 800. Could it do a million with a great build-up? Yeah, they’re two huge stars with a different kinds of audiences, both of them, and obviously, the social media age as well.
“I’d love to see it do a million, but I’m not sure it will but great for boxing. I think everybody should hope it does as many buys as possible.
“It is cheaper, but sometimes it’s smarter,” said Hearn when told that Espinoza said they were going to use the digital platform to promote the fight. It’s just something you do.
“You don’t necessarily need to do as much. You need to bring the fighters together, and you can do as much as you want on social media, but there’s nothing quite like having two fighters looking at each other in the eye.
“You saw that with those two press conferences. That made the [Tank Davis vs. Ryan Garcia] fight that much bigger. You want to get the fighters together as much as possible, but when they have the following that they do at the same time, you have to be smart.
“That’s a very powerful tool that can work for you 24/7 in a promotion.
“I didn’t know it was Leonard,” said Hearn when asked if he was surprised to see Gervonta Davis with Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe at the two press conferences.
“Obviously, he’s not with Mayweather Promotions anymore. They need someone there, and Leonard came out of retirement and popped up. It’s good to see him. It was very white [Ellerbe’s beard]. He’s aged a bit, but he looks very happy,” said Hearn.