- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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The United States pay-per-view figures for pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s one-sided conquest of Mexican hero Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to unify junior middleweight titles last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas have not been announced yet, but viewership figures for the fight in Mexico, where it was on free television, went through the roof.
The fight aired on broadcast network Televisa and generated the highest rating in Mexican television history, according to Golden Boy Promotions, Alvarez's promoter.
Nearly eight of out 10 households in Mexico were tuned into the fight, Golden Boy said. The fight drew a national rating of 41.5, which equals a 77 share of the viewing audience, or 22.1 million viewers and 5.9 million television households, Golden Boy said.
Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer said he spoke to executives from Televisa, who gave him the figures.
The fight telecast peaked with a national rating of 42 for a 78.4 percent share and 22.6 million viewers in 6 million television households. The full telecast, which included undercard fights, generated a 30.1 rating, or 16.2 million viewers and 4.3 million television households.
"Boxing fans demanded 'The One' and when we gave it to them they responded with these record ratings," Schaefer said. "This proves that great fights with great fighters like Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez will always strike a chord with viewers and that Canelo is undisputed as the biggest star Mexican boxing has today."
Alvarez has never garnered fewer than 7.5 million viewers for his eight appearances on Televisa. His previous high, according to Golden Boy, was for his April victory against Austin Trout, which drew a 28 rating and more than 15 million viewers.
Schaefer told ESPN.com that the figures for the Showtime PPV telecast in the United States were still being compiled but that the fight "definitely did more than 2 million homes" based on figures they already have. That makes Mayweather-Alvarez, at worst, the second-best selling pay-per-view in history.
The record is Mayweather's 2007 victory against Oscar De La Hoya, which did 2.5 million buys on HBO PPV. Whatever the final number is for Mayweather-Alvarez it will break the money record, Schaefer said, because the pay-per-view was more expensive both for the standard-definition and high-definition telecasts.
The Canelo Alvarez-Floyd Mayweather fight generated the highest rating in Mexican television history, according to Golden Boy Promotions.