As the beginning of March approaches the boxing world is still awaiting for the official announcement of pound for pound champ Floyd Mayweather’s ring return. It comes to no surprise that people are starting to speculate that Mayweather may want to push back his comeback to a June date. With time running out, training camps, and promotional tours, he’s not leaving himself much time for a May 4th return.
I don’t believe that this is true but what if he did? Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would then push his fight against Austin “No Doubt” Trout to the main event on May 4th. It may not be bad for boxing fans getting two PPV events in two months, except for one condition, how many people will pay to see Mayweather fight without Canelo being on the undercard? More importantly, how many people will pay to see him fight Robert Guerrero or Devon Alexander?
Let’s break down the numbers. Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Oscar De La Hoya was the number one PPV event in boxing history bringing in 2.5 million PPV buys. However, that was mainly because of Oscar. It was an intriguing fight that everyone in the country wanted to see. While I won’t give all the credit to Oscar the point is that Floyd wasn’t the headliner in that fight. Oscar was.
That same year Floyd would be on his own PPV headliner for the first time where he would take on Ricky Hatton. The fight sold 925k PPV buys. Not bad considering De La Hoya’s first PPV by himself was up against Pernell Whitaker, bringing in roughly 720k buys. It may have been a little less than what Floyd expected but it was still very good.
Mayweather would then take time off entering into a retirement that a lot of people thought was bogus. Mayweather would return against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2009 in a PPV event that would break a little over 1 million buys. It was the first time he had broken one million himself, although many would credit Juan Manuel Marquez’s Mexican following to help him break one million. So, in two fights on his own without Oscar he would average around 990k.
Now, enter Canelo Alvarez, Mexican’s boxing superstar. Alvarez had a huge following coming into the United States by the Mexican population. Alvarez would co-main event the Mayweather-Mosley card, which would help Mayweather bring in 1.4 million PPV buys, making it the best ever he sold being his own headliner. This is where the big question comes in, how much of that did Canelo help with? Could Mayweather have sold 1.4 million on his own without Canelo?
Mayweather-Ortiz did slightly lower bringing in around 1.2 million buys. Canelo was on the undercard for this fight, however he was fighting at the Staples Center in a different location. This could have helped lower the buys, and the fact that Ortiz wasn’t really a fight the public was making a huge hype about. A lot of people thought Mayweather would kill Ortiz, which he did, therefore it wasn’t an interesting enough fight to break his 1.4 million that he brought in against Mosley.
Next Mayweather took on highly regarded Miguel Cotto in his next PPV event, another fight that Canelo would co-main event. Add the Puerto-Rican following that Cotto has, and the event broke 1.5 million, Mayweather’s highest ever on his own. Again, one has to wonder, is he truly on his own or is he doing this with the help of Canelo? With Canelo on his undercard, his average goes up to 1.36 million. That’s an extra 350k.
There is no doubt in my mind that people will pay to watch Floyd. The question is though, how many people will if he does it without Canelo on the undercard? If you look at the numbers Canelo is helping Floyd bring in an extra 350k per event. That’s a lot of money. Breakdown the numbers, and that’s close to 24 million dollars extra, in which I doubt Canelo is getting any of it and most is going to Mayweather.
Now I’m not a promoter. I don’t know how much Floyd would lose he if lost another 350k buys. What I can tell you is that it’s one-fourth of the buys, and I’m pretty sure that would put a pretty big dent in his pocket.
The truth is though, I’m not sure Floyd can break 1 million PPV buys in a fight against Robert Guerrero without Canelo being on the undercard. Guerrero may keep some of the Mexican followers but not all of them. Not 1.4 million buys worth. The Hatton fight was a big fight and didn’t even break one million. The real question is, can Floyd sell a fight without fighting against a Mexican or having Canelo on the undercard? I’m sure it’ll bring in buys but I would guarantee that it would be about 500k less than what he’s used too. Floyd may know this, and want to prove everyone wrong by pushing his date back to June. Then again, he may look at how much money he would lose, and realize that Canelo will help him make more money. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I believe we will see Mayweather on May 4th, but this is Floyd we are talking about, and not one person on this earth knows what is going on in his head but him.