To the surprise of many, boxing didn’t actually die after Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s “Fight of the Century” didn’t really prove to be that exciting. It did rake in a record 4.4 million PPV buys, which is a mark we probably will not ever see topped again. Over the next 3 months, there will be three boxing PPVs of significance – Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto on September 12th, Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux on October 17th, and Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez on November 21st.
Truth be told, Mayweather vs. Berto is probably going to be a flop by Mayweather standards — he’ll probably be lucky to get 700,000 buys out of a Berto fight. Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes David Lemieux, has pegged Golovkin vs. Lemieux for the 350,000-500,000 range for what is a PPV debut for the A-side Golovkin. However, in a recent interview with FightHype last week at a Canelo vs. Cotto press event, De La Hoya (who promotes Canelo under the Golden Boy Promotions banner) was adamant about this particular fight being a box office hit.
“This is going to be a success. Look at the people, look at the cameras, everybody’s excited,” De La Hoya said. “This has the ingredients to surpass De La Hoya vs. Trinidad; to hit the 2 million mark on PPV. This is a big event, a mega event, so we’re not worried about that, we’re worried about making sure that this fight delivers.”
De La Hoya’s 1999 fight with Felix Trinidad, which Trinidad won my controversial majority decision, drew 1.4 million buys on PPV. At the time, it was the highest selling non-heavyweight PPV fight in boxing history. In recent times, Canelo was the B-side to a 2.2 million buy PPV vs. Floyd Mayweather, while Cotto’s career high mark is 1.5 million in his loss to Mayweather. Canelo vs. Cotto is being billed as a huge clash in the storied Mexico vs. Puerto Rico boxing rivalry, and the price point for this show is expected to be $64.95 SD/$74.95 HD. While neither man has ever been a 1 million buy selling A-side fighter, noting that Canelo’s two Showtime PPVs in 2014 were not exactly against household names, this particular matchup is the type of matchmaking that will generate huge public interest just from the Latin American market alone. Two million buys may be a bit optimistic for this bout, but it is supposed to be a major success given the hype that will surely be generated over the next several weeks.
One thing to note from an MMA fan’s perspective is the fact that Canelo vs. Cotto is now taking place exactly one week after Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm, which was moved from UFC 195 to UFC 193. All of a sudden, November is shaping up to be a huge month for combat sports PPVs, and we’ll find out which event will outdraw the other.
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