After a superlative
performance by Floyd Mayweather this past weekend, when he shut down Saul
Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, a steady stream of press releases trumpeting
just what a blockbuster financial and ratings success “The One” turned out to
be hit the inboxes of the boxing media.
It wasn't much of a fight
but it was a helluva promotion.
households in Mexico with a television set tuned into last Saturday's ‘THE ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo’ mega-fight
live on Televisa's Channel 5. The
12-round majority decision fight, which Mayweather won, garnered a national rating
of 41.1 points, which equates to a 77 percent share, 22.1 million viewers and
5.9 million television households, making it the highest-rated boxing
program ever on television in Mexico. The telecast peaked with a National
rating of 42 points (78.4 percent share/22.6 million viewers/6 million television households) and the
total program average from 8:00 p.m. CT to 12:30 a.m. CT was 30.1 points (16.2
million viewers/4.3 million television households),” read a press release that
came out on Wednesday boasting the television ratings south of the border.
Then on Thursday, the
announcement many were waiting for came out:
“Last Saturday's blockbuster boxing
event – “THE ONE: MAYWEATHER VS. CANELO” - ranked as the highest-grossing
pay-per-view of all time, with nearly $150 million in U.S. pay-per-view
revenue reported to date. The news was announced today by Showtime
Networks Inc., a division of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS), in
conjunction with event promoters Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy
Promotions. The SHOWTIME
PPV presentation of THE ONE surpassed the previous record of $136 million
generated by Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing event in
2007.Preliminary reports from distributors show pay-per-view
buys projected to be 2.2 million. While not fully reported from all
distributors, the total buys could challenge the existing record of 2.48
million pay-per-view buys set by De La Hoya vs. Mayweather. The initial
report immediately following the De La Hoya vs. Mayweather event in 2007 was
2.15. THE ONE has already exceeded the previous #2 event, the
infamous World Heavyweight Championship bout between Evander Holyfield vs. Mike
Tyson II (1.95 million, 1997).”
It was announced by the
Nevada State Athletic Commission that the live gate for the event at the MGM
Grand Garden Arena totaled $20,003,150 (with 16,146 tickets sold, no unsold
tickets and only 50 comps). The closed-circuit generated $2,615,360 (with
26,163 tickets purchased, none went unsold and 2,000 comps).
So it looks like from a
financial standpoint, this event has set new standards across the board.
“Pretty much, the only one
which I'm not sure of is the number of buys,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer
on Thursday afternoon, “but everything else, every other record fell.”
But moving forward, where
does Showtime/CBS and Mayweather go from here? Yes, while the fight against “Canelo”
was a homerun (if not a grand slam), as shown in May when Mayweather's bout
against Robert Guerrero did anywhere between 830,000 to a million buys -
depending on who and what you believe - the B-side matters. Does Showtime have
a bit of a problem in matching Mayweather with foes who will resonate with the
“Not necessarily,” stated
Stephen Espinoza, Executive VP and GM of Showtime Sports and Event Programming.
“I think that with this performance, Floyd erased all doubt - to the extent
that there was any - that he is the most talented and skilled boxer of his
generation and one of the top of all-time. Knowing that and knowing that we
have a limited window in which to watch him perform, whether it's two more
fights or four more fights or who knows? There's a limited time and we have a
very special once-in-a-generation athlete to enjoy. So the event is a Floyd
Mayweather performance, which is going to be noteworthy and worthwhile in its
“Now, yes, we also want
competitive fights and entertaining fights and we're going to do our best to
find the best possible opponents. But I think there has to be recognition that
his fights, even though they can be one-sided at times, it's an experience
like watching Michael Jordan in his final seasons. It's worthwhile if he was
playing against Charlotte.”
There is a lot of merit to
that but the key is to make sure this isn't like Jordan facing the Washington
Generals. Perhaps they can get creative and start creating handicap matches for
Mayweather. Don't laugh; George Foreman once fought five opponents on the same
night (albeit not at the same time).
“You're right; we'll do a
tag-team and we can have three guys and everyone will take four rounds. It's a
good idea,” said Espinoza, laughing.
While he didn't come close
to winning on Saturday night (no matter what “Can't Judge” Ross said), the reality
is Alvarez had a lot to do with the interest in this event and he is still a
very viable attraction moving forward.
“I think he's going to
continue to be strong because, I mean, if you lose to the number one fighter, I
don't think it hurts your brand,” said Schaefer. “We've seen it with others as
well. Look at - for example - Juan Manuel Marquez, he lost every second of every
round against Mayweather. At least ‘Canelo’ got a majority decision - I'm just
After a good chuckle,
Schaefer continued, “But no, the bottom line is - look, ‘Canelo’ certainly did
better than Marquez; that's for sure and look what happened with Marquez.
Marquez, after he lost every second of every round, he was bigger than ever
because it elevates your exposure. So ‘Canelo’ has nothing to be ashamed of.
He's a young, strong fighter who I think would beat anyone else at 154, no
question about it. So he will be champion again and I think he has a bright
Schaefer says he will let
Alvarez go back to Mexico and take some time off before meeting with him in
about a month to discuss the future. A fight with newly-minted IBF junior
middleweight titlist Carlos Molina has been bandied about.
SPORTS ON EARTH
From a historical
perspective, the fight I'd like to see Mayweather take on next is against
Sergio Martinez for the middleweight championship of the world. But
unfortunately, like many other fights, because Martinez has a steady
relationship with HBO (for the time being), that isn't realistic. That said, given
how Mayweather looked this past weekend and the current physical decline of “Maravilla,”
I would favor “Money” to win that fight if it were to come to fruition.
But you know what might
still be the most lucrative fight to be made in boxing? Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao.
Yes, even now in 2013, believe it or not. My latest contribution to
SportsOnEarth.com talks about it:
According to this article in Forbes (Floyd - $80 Million For Fight By Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes), Mayweather could earn as much
as $80 million for the Alvarez fight. But to get to that stratosphere, again,
he will need to hit certain pay-per-view benchmarks, meaning facing certain
guys who are not just more popular than the likes of Guerrero but perhaps bigger
threats. Do Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Devon Alexander, et al, bring that type of
Here's the latest episode of
“The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thenextround/2013/09/17/the-next-round-episode-449...Schaefer
says heavyweight Deontay Wilder has been added to the October 26th Showtime
broadcast featuring Bernard Hopkins and Peter Quillin...It looks like the bout
between super middleweight king Andre Ward and Edwin Rodriguez is “this close”
to becoming a done deal for November 16th on HBO. As for where it
ends up, it could take place in San Jose (according to Mr. Montoya) and I've
heard the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario is a possibility...The debut
of “24/7” for Tim Bradley-Marquez premieres next Saturday night on HBO after
their tripleheader...Hey, Willis McGahee is back in the league!...There's no
way Nick Saban leaves ‘Bama for Texas; right? I mean, that's a step down...I'd
like to see Jon Taffer do an episode of “Husker Rescue.” Could you imagine him
and Bo Pelini?...
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