On Saturday 22 September, Anthony Joshua returns the site of the greatest performance of his boxing career to put his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles on the line against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin – who delivered a stunning knockout of Beijing Olympic bronze medallist David Price on the Joshua v Parker undercard in March.
The Russian poses arguably the biggest threat to Joshua’s perfect professional record of 21 wins, 20 knockouts and no defeats since the Briton’s last Wembley outing against Wladimir Klitschko in March 2017, which proved record-breaking trading for pubs.
More than 288,000 searches were made on MatchPint by fans looking for pubs showing the Joshua v Klitschko bout – with 54% of searches coming from the 18 to 34 age bracket.
Additionally, Vianet data reveals that pubs that showed the fight sold 120% more pints than those that did not screen the boxing and that the average pub made a 4:1 return on investment on the cost of buying the fight from drinks sales alone.
The ‘Joshua effect’ plus the Premier League
According to MatchPint data, the popularity of British boxing has shown no signs of letting up, with boxing still generating the most searches on the pub-finding app.
Moreover, Joshua’s defence against Povetkin is preceded by a full live schedule of Premier League football with Fulham v Watford and Brighton v Tottenham Hotspur both broadcast earlier in the day compared the solitary game during the day of the Klitschko fight – a low-key 2-0 victory for Burnley at Crystal Palace.
With double the Saturday offering of Premier League football this time around, sport showing operators can expect to see it deliver an incremental value much closer to the average £406 per Premier League Saturday, according to a MatchPint spokesperson.
With a large number of pubs choosing to ticket boxing events between £5 and £10 per person, the average incremental value over the course of the day is likely to far exceed £967 per pub recorded on the day of the Klitschko fight.
“With all of those things taken into consideration, it’s not unrealistic at all that 22 September could see pubs making over £1,500 in incremental value from the day’s sport," said MatchPint's spokesperson.
“For those pubs out there balking at the £300 box office price for the fight, this proves that it really is a worthwhile investment.”
Top tips for nailing Joshua v Povetkin
A spokesperson for MatchPint provided a series of key tips for the build-up to Anthony Joshua’s latest title defence.
The spokesperson said: “Start talking about it NOW. There have already been more than 10,000 searches by fans for pubs showing the fight. Let your current punters know early and give them preferential booking options if you are going to ticket the event. Got a video of your pub from a previous fight? It's absolutely the perfect thing to be sharing in the lead-up.
“The biggest things fans love during these events is the atmosphere. To nail the atmosphere, make sure you have the sound up, multiple unrestricted views of screens and seating arranged to focus on a large projector screen if possible – this really generates a stadium-like feel.
“Show the whole undercard and market that too. There are some great fights earlier in the night and getting fans in as early as possible helps with congestion before the main event and increases sales opportunities.
“It’s sometimes the little things that really improve fans' experiences, so think about committing to some décor for the pub, running sweepstakes on who will win and in which round or even having some themed drinks and food on the menu.”