As we inch closer to one of the highest anticipated bouts in the sport of boxing in the last ten years we find ourselves wondering, and predicting, just how well Floyd Mayweather vs Saul Canelo Alvarez is going to do come September 14th in terms of PPV buys. Some have said it will break the all-time record of 2.5 million set by Mayweather vs De La Hoya in May of 2007. Others think that it will fall just short of it but undoubtedly by the second highest of all the time. And, there is the chance that it falls short of both, which would be somewhat of a disappointment to many who are expecting record breaking numbers.
There are a number of factors that should be considered when trying to determine just how well this fight will do in terms of PPV buys. First of all, don’t expect it to beat Mayweather vs De La Hoya. Yes, Mayweather was in Canelo’s shoes when he fought Oscar. He was the upcoming fan hyped guy and Oscar was the PPV star. However it was the series premiere of 24/7 that turned that fight into what it was. People, the general public not boxing fans, were getting to see Floyd for the first time. As each episode passed people became more appalled, and interested, in Mayweather’s on screen tactics. People hated the way he was acting and wanted De La Hoya to knock him out. As word began to spread about the fight even people who didn’t like boxing found themselves wanting to see this fight in a bad way and tuning into 24/7 just to see what the hype was all about. These days, Floyd’s onscreen antics are considered normal and it doesn’t help him sell a fight the way it used to, although he’s become tranquil as of late.
The second reason why I don’t expect this to break the all-time record, this isn’t Mayweather vs Pacquiao. A Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight back in 2010 was not just a fight that fans wanted to see, it was a fight that was supposed to help the sport of boxing in a way that it hadn’t been helped in years. It wasn’t just a fight, it was an epic event. It was supposed to break every record there was giving the fans of not just boxing, but fans of sports in general, something that they were just begging to see. It would have broken the Mayweather vs De La Hoya PPV record easily according to most experts.
Canelo doesn’t bring the same force as Pacquiao, but he does bring something. Canelo has a huge following, he’s exciting to watch, and some experts would say he has a better chance to beat Mayweather than Pacquiao did. However when it comes to trying to break the all-time record this fight is just missing something, or so it would seem, to be able to compete with Mayweather-De La Hoya on that level. Canelo’s fans are already boxing fans that would purchase almost any PPV event that had Mayweather’s name on it. Mayweather has his own reputation, and as long as he is fighting any sort of opponent with a decent name, he’s going to bring in at least 1.5 million buys.
What this fight does have though is pushing power. The fans are so excited about it that they are telling everyone around them how great it’s going to be. And that word does spread. Non-boxing fans are eager to see it because of the fact that the boxing fans around them just won’t shut up about it. This extra push is making people interested. While fights like Mayweather-Mosley and Mayweather-Cotto were big and fans were happy to see it, there was the overshadowing factor that neither of them posed any sort of threat to Mayweather. Casual fans, the fans that boost PPV buys to the 2 million range, kept their money in their pockets because there was no threat to Floyd. Canelo isn’t just a big name like Mosley or Cotto, but he poses that threat as well. The people that, as Floyd would say, “Pay to see him lose” are actually going to pay because there is a threat there. There is a ‘chance’ that Mayweather doesn’t win this fight.
The undercard may add some steam to it as well, although it won’t be much. Most people in the United States wouldn’t know who Lucas Matthysse or Danny Garcia was if they walked by them in a store and offered their autograph. Both men are only known by fans of boxing, fans that are already going to purchase Mayweather-Canelo regardless of whether it is a janitor fighting a security guard on the undercard. But again, there is pushing power there. So now, boxing fans don’t just hype up Mayweather-Canelo, but they hype up the co-main event as well telling everyone around them that it’s a fight of the year candidate that could end in an amazing knockout. The people that already have an interest and are thinking of buying it, become even more interested.
With all that said what exactly are we looking at for how well Mayweather-Canelo is going to do in terms of PPV buys? My guess, and I’m usually pretty good at this, is close to 2 million, and maybe barely exceeding it to 2.1 million. I think the boxing fans are giving it that extra push so that it goes well past 1.5 million but nowhere close to the Mayweather-De La Hoya record of 2.5. Two million buys would be a huge success. I think the threat of Canelo brings just enough juice to do that.