By Keith Idec
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin didn’t come anywhere near the “close to 3 million” domestic pay-per-view buys promoter Oscar De La Hoya predicted, but their middleweight title fight easily surpassed 1 million buys.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Alvarez-Golovkin generated 1.3 million buys in the United States. Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) fought to a controversial 12-round draw September 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
HBO Sports has not officially acknowledged the buy rate. Because it cost $79.95 to watch in HD, however, pay-per-view revenue from the event could exceed $100 million.
Based on the Los Angeles Times’ report, which cited an unidentified source, only nine non-heavyweight fights since boxing began regularly utilizing the pay-per-view model in 1991 have produced more buys than Alvarez-Golovkin. Each of those eight events included Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and/or Manny Pacquiao.
The record remains Mayweather-Pacquiao, which generated an astounding 4.6 million buys in May 2015. The Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, which is believed to have attracted 4.4 million buys August 26, could’ve impacted the buy rate for Alvarez-Golovkin because it cost $100 to view in HD and took place just three weeks earlier at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Nevertheless, with Mayweather retired and Pacquiao’s career in its twilight, Alvarez has established himself as the only active A-side boxer that can generate 1 million buys or more on the pay-per-view platform.
His relatively easy, 12-round victory over Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena did “at least” 1 million buys, according to De La Hoya, whose company promotes Alvarez.
Alvarez-Golovkin also made the third-highest profit from ticket sales in boxing history. According to figures released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the event headlined by their middleweight title fight produced $27,059,850 in revenue from 17,318 tickets sold.
The NSAC also revealed 934 complimentary tickets were distributed for the event. Golden Boy Promotions announced the official attendance on fight night as 22,358, a record crowd in the brief history of T-Mobile Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.