- Floyd Mayweather Jr v Saul Alvarez
Mayweather Jr-Alvarez smashes PPV recordsSeptember 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | O'Sullivan backtracks on match-fixing comments »
Floyd Mayweather Jr's light-middleweight unification bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez indeed lived up to its billing as "The One."
Showtime, which broadcast the fight on pay-per-view, announced on Thursday, along with promoters Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, that Mayweather Jr's dominant decision victory in Las Vegas shattered the all-time record for highest-grossing pay-per-view fight of all time, generating $150 million in revenue from 2.2 million pay-per-view buys.
"This is what we anticipated when we formed our partnership with CBS/Showtime (in early 2013) - record-breaking results," Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com. "We're just ecstatic and we want to thank the fans for supporting this promotion. It was a lot of hard work.
"Everybody busted their behinds but Floyd has tremendous star power and the ability to attract new fans with the support of Showtime and CBS with their plethora of platforms that we were able to utilise. It's just been remarkable. It's the best working with the best."
The $150m in pay-per-view haul broke the record set by Mayweather Jr's decision victory against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. That fight generated $136m from an all-time record 2.48 million pay-per-view buys. Adjusted for inflation, Mayweather Jr-De La Hoya would be worth $153m in today's dollars.
The $150m and 2.2 million buys will likely increase as all of the buys are accounted for, giving the fight an outside chance to also break the buy record. Mayweather Jr-De La Hoya was initially announced at 2.15 million buys and then amended a couple of months later when more of the numbers were tallied.
The only pay-per-view events to top 2 million buys are Mayweather Jr-De La Hoya and Mayweather Jr-Alvarez.
"I'm very happy for the fighters. They will make substantial amounts of money from the upside, a lot more than their guarantees," Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com. "But I am happy as well for the sport of boxing.
"This is a vote of confidence for the sport and one would have to be an idiot to keep saying this is a dying sport like some people have said. This shows you the strength of the sport of boxing and that boxing today continues to deliver huge numbers that very few other sports can deliver in one night.
"This fight will gross over $200m when you take into account all of the revenues. Besides pay-per-view, there's the gate, the foreign television, the sponsors, the closed circuit, the merchandise. Many of those (revenue streams) also broke records. In this fight records were broken."
Mayweather Jr was guaranteed $41.5m with Alvarez's guarantee in the $12m neighborhood, but both will earn substantially more based on their deals, especially Mayweather Jr, who controlled the promotion and will keep the bulk of the profits.
"Floyd has a chance to make $100m in this fight," Ellerbe said. "Floyd Mayweather Jr been saying it over and over for years - he's most dominant athlete in all of sports and he's getting paid accordingly."
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the sell-out crowd of 16,146 generated an all-time record gate of $20,003,150, topping the $18,419,200 generated by Mayweather Jr-De La Hoya. Mayweather Jr-Alvarez would fall second behind the inflation-adjusted gate of $20.7m in ticket sales sold for Mayweather Jr-De La Hoya.
Mayweather Jr-Alvarez also set a Las Vegas closed-circuit record, selling out 26,163 tickets for a gross of $2,615,360. The fight was the second of the 30 month deal for up to six fights that Mayweather Jr signed earlier this year with Showtime/CBS after leaving long-time broadcast partner HBO/Time Warner.
Mayweather Jr, whose May fight with Robert Guerrero did not come close to matching expectations, plans to fight twice more again in 2014, beginning with a fight in May. No opponent has been determined.
"Records are here to be broken," Schaefer said. "People told me in 2007 with Mayweather Jr-De La Hoya that it was impossible to break the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield pay-per-view record, that we were living in a different time. Well, you know what? We broke the record.
"This is not the end. Records will continue to be broken and as I am standing here we will break the records again. That's what motivates me - to get more and more people interested in boxing and if the best fight the best, you will see more records fall."