Was it a big mistake for Showtime to have Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant run head-to-head with UFC 268 as Dana White suggested? The numbers seem to suggest otherwise.
BoxingScene (among others) reported earlier this week that the undisputed super-middleweight title fight, which Canelo won by 11th round TKO, is tracking towards 800,000 pay-per-view buys in the United States. This encompasses both traditional cable/satellite purchases and digital buys through the Showtime app. Keith Idec reported that the break-even mark for this event was around 500,000 buys, so this surpassed that total along with the expectations of industry insiders.
If this number holds up it’d top the 650,000 buys from last month’s Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder trilogy. The top-selling boxing PPV this year was the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul exhibition.
This was Canelo’s first exclusive pay-per-view fight since his rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin back in 2018, which did an estimated 1.1 million buys. Following his win over ‘GGG,’ Canelo’s next six fights were streamed on DAZN. He’s obviously out of his exclusive DAZN contract now but remained on the platform for three bouts after his $365 million deal was terminated. Alvarez remains a promotional/network free agent, which gives him the freedom to fight on DAZN, ESPN, or either PBC on FOX or Showtime if he so chooses.
It’s been widely reported that Canelo’s purse was $40 million minimum, with Caleb Plant at a massive career-high of $10 million, neither of which includes the cut of the pay-per-view money that they’re due to receive.
The live gate at the MGM Grand was also reportedly in the neighborhood of $18-$20 million, which would put it either 5th or 6th all-time for boxing gates in Nevada.
In other words, this was a massive commercial success.
The next boxing pay-per-view is Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter on November 20th, also in Las Vegas but exclusively on ESPN+.
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