Canelo Alvarez’s return to boxing’s traditional pay-per-view platform Saturday night was a bigger success than anticipated. has learned that the total buy rate for the Showtime Pay-Per-View event headlined by Alvarez’s 11th-round knockout of Caleb Plant is on track to reach 800,000. That total includes only domestic buys in the United States through cable and satellite operators, as well as digital sales that have consistently accounted for an increasing number of buys in 2021.

The total buy rate for pay-per-view events often takes many months to tabulate.

Numerous industry insiders indicated to before Alvarez fought Plant on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that their fight would draw somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000 buys, in part because Showtime’s four-fight telecast directly competed with UFC 268 on pay-per-view.

The 31-year-old Alvarez is boxing’s biggest star in the U.S., but he hadn’t competed exclusively on pay-per-view since his 12-round, majority-decision victory over rival Gennadiy Golovkin in their middleweight championship rematch in September 2018 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The second Alvarez-Golovkin battle reportedly produced approximately 1.1 million buys.

Each of Alvarez’s three bouts before he topped Plant – successive victories over Callum Smith, Avni Yildirim and Billy Joe Saunders – were offered on pay-per-view through cable and satellite operators in the U.S., but were primarily streamed by DAZN, a much cheaper option than traditional pay-per-view.

The Mexican superstar’s showdown with Plant marked Alvarez’s first fight in affiliation with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. It also was his first pay-per-view fight distributed by Showtime since his controversial 12-round, split-decision defeat of Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara in July 2014 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs), who became boxing’s first fully unified super middleweight champion by beating Plant, remains a promotional and network free agent.

The four-division champion said during his post-fight press conference Saturday night that he probably won’t return to the ring until early in May of 2022. His victory over Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) was his fourth fight in less than 11 months, an unusually high rate of activity for an elite-level boxer who makes eight figures per fight.

Alvarez added that he won’t decide at least until January on who he’ll fight next. He’ll also take his time to choose whether to realign himself with Haymon and Showtime or FOX, or if he’ll head back to DAZN and work with promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.