By Jake Donovan
HBO continues its long standing relationship with Floyd Mayweather, as it was announced Thursday afternoon that the cable giant’s pay-per-view arm will serve as the provider for the May 5 superfight between the unbeaten pound-for-pound king and 154 lb. titlist Miguel Cotto.
The event takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cotto’s alphabet title will be at stake, with Mayweather – the reigning welterweight king – moving up to the 154 lb. division as opposed to demanding a catchweight.
Both fighters saw their most recent fights hosted by HBO PPV, each producing massive results. Mayweather (42-0, 26KO) continued his dominance in the ring and at the box office last September, when his 4th round knockout of Victor Ortiz produced his third consecutive pay-per-view event to sell more than 1 million units.
A titlist in five weight classes, including lineal reigns at super featherweight, lightweight and twice at welterweight, Mayweather was also the winner in the biggest pay-per-view event in boxing history, when his 154 lb. title winning effort against Oscar de la Hoya racked up a record 2.4 million buys. The event generated more than $136 million in pay-per-revenue and over $19 million at the live gate.
The showdown with Cotto will mark Mayweather’s ninth HBO PPV headlining appearance, all coming within his last ten fights. Prior to his first PPV headliner – a six-round destruction of the late Arturo Gatti, Mayweather appeared on HBO’s flagship station for 15 fights over a six-plus year stretch.
Cotto (37-2. 30KO) is no stranger to the Network of Champions himself. The Puerto Rican superstar has headlined 11 HBO broadcasts and five more on its pay-per-view arm.
Unlike Mayweather, Cotto has also walked across the street for televised action. Cotto appeared on a Showtime broadcast in December 2006, and in a rare Showtime pay-per-view event last March when he scored a 12th round stoppage of Ricardo Mayorga.
The latter bout served as a package deal of sorts, as then-promoter Bob Arum took that fight as well as the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley pay-per-view event to Showtime.
This time around, HBO – now manned by former Showtime exec Ken Hershman – prevented history from repeating itself by presenting an enticing enough offer to convince all parties involved that the bout belongs on the network that made both fighters famous.
“We’re thrilled that will be presenting the Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto pay-per-view event on May 5,” Hershman stated in announcing the news Thursday afternoon. “We are looking forward to working with Floyd, Miguel, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions on this special event.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected].