Records tumble as Mayweather Jr v Alvarez sells outJune 28, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Two months before Floyd Mayweather Jr and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez square off to unify their light-middleweight titles in the year's biggest fight, records are already falling.
The fight won't take place until September 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and on Showtime Pay Per View, but already it has broken the all-time live gate record for a boxing event after selling out on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after tickets went on sale.
Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com the fight will generate a minimum of $18,647,000 in ticket sales and "it could go up to a little shy of $19 million depending on the number of comps that are given out. It's going to be the record. The MGM is calculating and has to do the ticket settlement, but it will definitely be the record."
When Mayweather Jr outpointed Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 to win a light-middleweight title at the MGM Grand, the fight, also promoted by Golden Boy, broke every boxing revenue record, including the all-time pay-per-view mark with nearly 2.5m units sold and the all-time gate record of $18,419,200. That gate record surpassed the previous record of $16,860,300 by the 1999 heavyweight champion rematch between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield.
Schaefer said the reason the exact gate figure for tickets ranging from $350 to $2,000 apiece is unclear is because the number of complimentary tickets have not been fully calculated.
"Everything is gigantic with this fight," Schaefer said from Atlanta, where he was Thursday for stop No. 5 on an 11-city media tour to promote the fight. "Two months out and you can say within 2% what the gate is.
"The more comps, the less the gross will be but the casino gets a certain number of comps, the fighters get a certain number of comps, Showtime and Showtime Pay-Per-View get some, the sponsors get some. I have to go through the list. The gate number will go up from where we are at now and it's already the record. I don't want to have too many comps."
Five-division titlist Mayweather Jr added: "This sell out doesn't surprise me because this is what happens when the best fights the best. I want to thank all the fans for their support. They're going to see a hell of a show on September 14."
Schaefer said the fight has also set the record for a guarantee on national closed circuit revenue, which is derived from people who pay to watch the fight at bars and restaurants. He said De La Hoya-Mayweather Jr generated a record $3 million guarantee and that the Mayweather Jr-Alvarez closed-circuit rights went for $4 million.
Although Schaefer declined to disclose the exact figure, he said the Mexican television rights for Mayweather Jr-Alvarez that went to Televisa brought "four times as much as they did for De La Hoya-Mayweather Jr. That just shows you how big Canelo [Alvarez] is in Mexico."
"These lofty records, you have to wonder if they will ever be broken. I am always hopeful because records are here to be broken," said Schaefer, who will be in Miami for stop No. 6 on the media tour. "The gate record has fallen. The closed-circuit record has fallen for the guarantee. I'm really proud of what we have accomplished as a company to set the record and then break the record. I'm going to try to break it again. That's what motivates me. It shows how healthy the sport is."
So now the question is can the fight challenge the pay-per-view record?
"I'm not going to say the pay-per-view record is going to fall but the more I see the turnout at these tour stops and the passion I have seen day after day from the fans, the more I think we have a shot," Schaefer said.