By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is expecting a record buyrate number for the May 5th mega-match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26KOs) and Miguel Cotto (37-0, 30KOs), taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. HBO pay-per-view will carry the event.
In the worst case scenario, Schaefer is very confident that Mayweather-Cotto will generate the second highest buyrate in pay-per-view history.
Mayweather's fight with Oscar De La Hoya [May 5, 2007] is the current pay-per-view champion. The event generated 2.4 million pay-per-view buys. Mike Tyson's 1997 rematch with Evander Holyfield is sitting in the number two position with nearly 2 million buys.
Schaefer spoke to BoxingScene.com and explained, in detail, the reasons behind his belief that Mayweather-Cotto is going to break pay-per-view records next Saturday night.
"We have always focused on making the Mayweather events as big as they can be. Mayweather events have become known as the Super Bowls of boxing. Here there are many new elements in the promotion and the results are going to be such that I have no doubt......I'm not going to predict how many homes its going to do, but I have no doubt that this is going to be the biggest pay-per-view that we have done, that anybody has done - since De La Hoya and Mayweather," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
BoxingScene.com: What do you base that on?
Schaefer: I'm basing that on early results from closed circuit. I'm basing that on sponsors' feedback. I'm comparing the [statistics from the] movie theaters. There you can track it very nicely. You can look two weeks before, for the Ortiz fight or the Marquez fight or the Mosley fight...how many tickets did you sell. And we can compare it to [our figures] now and we've been getting those numbers updated. I don't even want to say how much more [we've done than in previous fights], but if these numbers are going to translate to [pay-per-view buys] - and the early indications are that they will because of the kind of feedback that we're getting. If those numbers in fact are true, I think we might break the record - based on those early indications - its unreal.
BoxingScene.com: In most of Floyd's events, he carries the pay-per-view. In this particular fight, Cotto himself is a strong pay-per-view attraction.
Schaefer: We have two A-sides. This is not like one guy carrying the promotion, we have two A-sides. I think its the most dangerous fight for Floyd since he fought Oscar, no question. It's the first time that he's fighting at 154 [since De La Hoya]. This is the first time that he's fighting in the ten ounce gloves [at 154] since the De La Hoya fight.
He is fighting a guy who is very strong, naturally bigger. Cotto has a tremendous jab and that's what gave Floyd problems in the De La Hoya fight...the jab. He doesn't get tired. De La Hoya got tired in the second half of the fight, but Cotto gets stronger in the second half. This is a dangerous fight and fight fans know that and that's why were are getting the response that we're getting.
BoxingScene.com: And the co-feature with Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley.
Schaefer: Now you have Canelo factor. You can not underestimate the Canelo factor. We have the Puerto Ricans. You talk about the island [of Puerto Rico], and that's another indication [of breaking a buyrate record]. I talked Gaby Peñagarícano, the adviser for Cotto. And based on what he's hearing on the island, this will be the biggest all-time pay-per-view event in Puerto Rico. He was telling me that. You start looking at the Puerto Ricans in the United States and you have a big fan base here for Miguel as well.
Then you have Canelo, who is the number one Mexican star, and it's Cinco De Mayo. And he's in a dangerous fight as well. Some people might underestimate Shane Mosley based on his last couple of performances, but I remember Shane Mosley was underestimated in the Margarito fight and you know what happened. When you have a fight like Shane Mosley, with the back against the wall - this is his last chance - if he loses this fight then that's it - he's done.
You know when you talk to Shane, he doesn't want it to be done and he has plans that extend way past this fight and he knows, and he's clear about it, he knows that if he loses this fight - that this is it for him in big time boxing. And he doesn't want that to happen, so Whatever he has left he is going to bring. It's going to make Shane Mosley much more dangerous than some people estimate.