By Miguel Rivera
Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy Promotions, says his company is very pleased with the early buyrate numbers for last Saturday's HBO Pay-Per-View event, which featured Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith from AT&T Stadium in Texas.
BoxingScene.com recently reported that Canelo vs. Smith is not expected to break 300,000 pay-per-view buys.
Canelo (48-1-1, 34 KOs) was making his return to the junior middleweight division and captured the WBO title with a ninth round knockout of Smith.
The number was a far cry from Canelo's recent pay-per-view fights - which saw 900,000 purchases for last November's win over Miguel Cotto, and then 500,000 buys for his May bout with Amir Khan.
While a lot of people view the number of 250 to 300K as being bad, Golden Boy like what they see. They drew in over 51,000 fans to the venue - snapping a previous record held by Manny Pacquiao, and they expected a buyrate figure of 300K - because Smith is unknown to the majority of the American and Mexican fight fans.
Gomez points out that Canelo stayed in line with his buyrate numbers that were generated in past pay-per-view bouts against less popular opponents like Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara. He also says the pay-per-view market for boxing is very poor at the moment.
"For a lot of people it looks like a bad number but look at what's happening with pay-per-view events. Manny Pacquiao sold little [for the Tim Bradley trilogy], Terence Crawford sold little [for the Viktor Postol unification], while Canelo kept the same numbers that he had in the past, prior to facing the more popular fighters like Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan," Gomez told ESPN Deportes.
"For us, these numbers satisfy us both from a pay-per-view point of view and in the box office. We discussed this before the fight, and we expected approximately 45,000 in the stadium and 250 thousand on pay per view and 300,000 at most. We knew it would be difficult to sell the fight because very few were familiar with Liam Smith."
"The 250 thousand homes that have been mentioned or 300 thousand at most, are numbers that are not yet official - but they still are good. I'll tell you this, it all depends on how you want to read the numbers. The opponent was not even half as popular as Cotto or Khan, but they are good numbers considering the situation with the current state of pay-per-view events."
Gomez confirms that there are ongoing talks to finalize a fight against middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) for September 2017. Canelo, who suffered a right hand injury during the win over Smith, will not fight again until Cinco De Mayo weekend in May.