By Jake Donovan
While not an event blowing the roof of the house as was the case with “The One” last September, Floyd Mayweather’s next ring appearance is well on track for its second straight sold-out arena. The unbeaten pound-for-pound king faces Marcos Maidana on May 3, in front of a packed house at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in an event on pace to reap major financial rewards for all involved.
“I anticipate any day that we will announce a complete sellout,” Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions noted during a recent conference to promote the event. “Tickets are sold out at (most of the price points).”
Mayweather’s most ring appearance – a 12-round points win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez last September – shattered box office records. The event pulled in more than $20 million in ticket sales, $140 million in pay-per-view revenue and millions more earned from closed circuit viewing in Las Vegas and movie theatre showings throughout the United States.
The event was a huge success on every level, far exceeding the box-office results produced from Mayweather’s 12-round win over Robert Guerrero last May. The bout was his first following a brief prison stint, and also his first of a then newly-inked deal with Showtime after having spent virtually his entire career on HBO.
However, the promotion suffered due to a number of reasons: the show being announced late and neither fighter regularly made available to the media for varying circumstances. Guerrero made the rounds until he was popped for a weapons charge in New York City, with the most serious charges not dropped until after the May bout. Mayweather (45-0, 26KO) simply refused to make himself accessible other than mandated conference calls and press conferences.
The show still pulled in around 900,000 pay-per-view buys, but failed to sell out the MGM Grand. Overall, the event performed overall below expectations given the financial investment. Mayweather was fighting in the first of a six-fight deal with Showtime that is reportedly the most lucrative in boxing history.
There were no such concerns at any point during last September’s blockbuster show. From the 10-city, two-county press tour to Fight Week to fight night itself, “The One” fired on all cylinders.
A similar buzz is beginning to generate from “The Moment.” The show suffered a late jump in the promotional aspect, as Mayweather spent more than two months mulling between Maidana (35-3, 31KO) and the date’s early frontrunner, Amir Khan. The pound-for-pound king eventually settled on Maidana, who gained a groundswell of support following his upset wide points win over previously unbeaten three-division titlist Adrien Broner last September.
Mayweather made the announcement on his birthday in late February.
Khan (28-3, 19KO) has since been added to the show, agreeing to face southpaw Luis Collazo (35-5, 18KO) in a matchup of former champions. In terms of relevance, it’s a poor man’s version of the chief support to Mayweather’s last show, when Danny Garcia bested Lucas Matthysse in a mouthwatering showdown that crowned a king in the 140 lb. division.
The welterweight clash between Khan and Collazo doesn’t come close to matching that fight’s significance, but is a tremendous clash of styles that threatens to result in the best fight of the night.
While not official, the winner will be floated as a viable option for Mayweather’s next opponent in September should he get past Maidana. There’s no better preview for fans than appearing in the chief supporting bout of the biggest card of the year to date.
The addition of Khan-Collazo, as well as Broner (27-1, 22KO) also appearing on the undercard, have helped arouse greater interest in a show that has all parties pleased with its progress.
“Expecting that the show will be sold out by then, we can go ahead and announce that closed-circuit tickets will be made available throughout the affiliated resorts,” Schaefer declared. “We will go on sale Friday with the closed-circuit seats in Las Vegas. There will be 35,000 seats available for $75.00.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Tags: Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Marcos Maidana , Mayweather-Maidana , Mayweather vs. Maidana