By Keith Idec
As the numbers continue trickling in, the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view showdown has exceeded 4.6 million pay-per-view buys.
That’s nearly twice as many buys produced by the No. 2 fight on the all-time list for pay-per-view purchases, Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya, which generated about 2.48 million buys in May 2007. The Mayweather-Pacquiao buy rate has stunned even Mark Taffet, boxing’s foremost pay-per-view expert.
Taffet, HBO’s senior vice president for sports operations and pay-per-view, didn’t envision the highly anticipated clash cracking three million buys, let alone four million.
“The numbers that fight achieved never even made it to our computer spreadsheets or projections, going into the fight,” said Taffet, who’ll be inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame on Thursday night in Garfield, New Jersey. “It’s one of those things that’s a phenomenon unto itself, that we still don’t fully comprehend.”
Mayweather-Pacquiao, which cost as much as $99.95 in HD, has generated more than $437 million in pay-per-view revenue. That astounding, record-smashing figure is nearly $150 million more than the combined revenue from the top two previous pay-per-view producers – Mayweather-De La Hoya (about $139 million) and Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez (approximately 2.2 million buys; roughly $150 million) – made from sales.
“If it exceeded the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight by one buy, everyone would have been thrilled and considered it a tremendous success,” Taffet said. “To have it generate over 4.6 million pay-per-view buys is beyond any thoughts or projections we ever had.”
Mayweather won the mostly uneventful fight by unanimous decision May 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) claims a right shoulder injury that later required surgery hindered him during the bout, but the recently retired Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) has dismissed talk of a rematch in 2016.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.