By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Promoters of the competing event Sept. 15 in Las Vegas have touted their card as “free-per-view,” a shot at the possible pricetag of $65 fight fans will have to pay to watch the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. showdown in HD that night.
Promoter Bob Arum nevertheless believes there still will be plenty of customers who’ll buy HBO Pay-Per-View’s four-fight show headlined by the long-awaited middleweight battle between Argentina’s Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs) and Mexico’s Chavez (46-0-1, 32 KOs), the WBC’s 160-pound champion.
Martinez has never fought in the main event of a major pay-per-view show and Chavez has headlined only smaller, independent pay-per-view broadcasts produced by Arum’s Top Rank Inc. But Chavez’s last four appearances on HBO have drawn tremendous ratings in comparison to other HBO boxing broadcasts and Martinez-Chavez has evolved into one of the most interesting fights in the sport.
That combination, according to Arum, should lead to a solid showing when the pay-per-view numbers are compiled following Martinez-Chavez at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
“I don’t know what a realistic number is, I really don’t,” Arum said. “But my template is [Miguel] Cotto-[Antonio] Margarito, the second fight, which did 550,000 buys [Dec. 3 from Madison Square Garden]. You factor in the fact that some of that is attributable to the island of Puerto Rico, because Cotto performs exceptionally well [on pay-per-view there]. So I would say, realistically, between 400,000 and 500,000 [buys for Martinez-Chavez].”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.