By Keith Idec
Promoter Tom Loeffler told Yahoo! Sports on Friday that the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs pay-per-view show Saturday night generated roughly 170,000 buys based on figures compiled far from cable and satellite companies.
That means Golovkin-Jacobs out-performed Golovkin’s first pay-per-view main event, but not by a large amount. That fight, an eighth-round technical knockout of David Lemieux at Madison Square Garden in October 2015, produced approximately 153,000 buys, according to Loeffler.
Boxing industry insiders expected Golovkin-Jacobs to do more than 170,000 buys. The lower buy rate likely will impact ongoing negotiations for a long-awaited Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin showdown in September because Mexico’s Alvarez is a much more proven pay-per-view attraction than Golovkin.
The 170,000 buys produced by Golovkin-Jacobs also provided more evidence that piracy is having an increasingly adverse affect on boxing’s pay-per-view business. With many boxing fans watching illegal streams on Facebook Live and other websites, as well using fire sticks with their TVs, the days of fights attracting 250,000 buys with any regularity appear to be over.
Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev, one of the most anticipated fights of 2016, barely cracked 160,000 buys on November 19 in Las Vegas. The buy rate for the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas pay-per-view show two weeks before Ward-Kovalev was so low, promoter Bob Arum never divulged it publicly.
Golovkin-Jacobs delivered drama in the ring, though, as Jacobs truly tested Golovkin on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Jacobs, a huge underdog entering their fight, overcame a fourth-round knockdown, troubled Golovkin at times with his boxing ability, movement and southpaw stance, and ended the middleweight champion’s 23-fight, eight-year knockout streak.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) still won a unanimous decision over Brooklyn’s Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs). The WBA/WBC/IBF/IBO middleweight champion also went 12 rounds for the first time in his 10-year pro career.
Their highly competitive fight will be replayed Saturday night by HBO, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. HBO also will replay the co-featured fight from the Golovkin-Jacobs undercard, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai’s controversial majority-decision upset of Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai dropped the heavily favored Gonzalez with a body shot in the first round, overcame a point deduction during the sixth round for intentional head-butts and fended off Gonzalez’s late rally to win on the scorecards of judges Glenn Feldman (114-112) and Julie Lederman (114-112). The third judge, Woleska Roldan, scored their 12-round fight even (113-113).
Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs) was the No. 1 fighter on most mythical pound-for-pound lists before Saturday night.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.