Digital pirates left sports broadcasters battered as more than 13 million people across the world used illegal channels to watch Anthony Joshua lose his heavyweight world titles to Andy Ruiz Jr.
UK-based digital piracy watchdog MUSO shared the numbers. Nigeria, which is Joshua’s parents’ country of origin, had the biggest share of 2.35m, while there were 921,994 unlicensed viewers in the UK.
The worldwide total is the highest since MUSO began tracking boxing in 2017, beating the 9.98m for the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder fight in December.
The UK is third on the list of audiences by country behind Kenya (998,027), with 93% of the worldwide audience using YouTube.
"We saw how popular the Fury v Wilder fight was across piracy networks," said Muso's chief executive and co-founder, Andy Chatterley.
"The Joshua v Ruiz fight has been the largest unauthorised audience that we've ever tracked across boxing and it's staggering to see that 93% of the audience watched via YouTube.
"The official pay-per-view audience figures have yet to be published, but this is a massive audience that's being ignored. This highly engaged audience offers up huge insight and perhaps, more importantly, significant commercial opportunity."