Friday, October 28, 2011
Floyd Mayweather fight drives PPV buys
By Dan Rafael
Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz to reclaim a welterweight title on Sept. 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas generated 1.25 million buys and $78.44 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue, Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday.
The 1.25 million buys for the HBO PPV fight, dubbed "Star Power," tied it for third place all-time among non-heavyweight pay-per-views and gave Mayweather his third consecutive one million-plus pay-per-view fight and fourth in his past five bouts.
The revenue generated made Mayweather-Ortiz the second-highest grossing non-heavyweight fight in history. Although the buys equaled those of Manny Pacquiao's 2008 fight with Oscar De La Hoya and virtually matched those of Pacquiao-Shane Mosley in May (official numbers were not released for that fight), Mayweather-Ortiz beat both in revenue generated because it sold for a higher price, $59.95 in standard definition and $69.95 in most markets for high definition.
"My motto is 'hard work and dedication' and I have shown this throughout my entire career, which has allowed me to go out and perform each time I step in the ring," Mayweather said in a statement. "I give the fans everything I have with the best competition and exciting fights. I must be doing something right as they keep buying my fights and I appreciate their tremendous support. It feels good to be able to generate such a great interest in the sport."
Mayweather's other blockbuster pay-per-views include his 2007 fight with De La Hoya (an all-time pay-per-view record 2.45 million buys); Mayweather-Mosley in 2010 (1.4 million, which is tied with De La Hoya's 1999 fight with Felix Trinidad); and Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez in 2009 (1.1 million).
"Every time Floyd steps into the ring, he reminds us that he is the greatest fighter in the sport today and certainly its biggest star," Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's longtime adviser and the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said. "The financial success of his fight with Victor Ortiz reinforces Floyd's position in the sport as iconic and he should be appreciated for bringing all of this attention and good fortune to the sport. His pay-per-view success is staggering and the history books will reflect this impact."
Mayweather now has appeared in the three biggest non-heavyweight pay-per-view events in boxing history in terms of revenue generated. The fight with De La Hoya grossed an all-time record $136,853,700 and the Mosley fight generated $78.33 million.
Mayweather was dominating Ortiz before Ortiz committed a flagrant head butt against him in the fourth round. After referee Joe Cortez docked a point from Ortiz and then called time in, Mayweather clocked him with a two-punch combination to knock him out. Although Mayweather's punches were legal, many were angered by the way the fight ended because he hit Ortiz while he had his hands down and was trying to apologize again for the head butt.
On Wednesday in his hometown of Las Vegas, Mayweather, who has several legal cases pending against him, was acquitted of misdemeanor harassment charges alleging that he threatened the lives of two security guards in his gated community after an argument about parking tickets related to some of his 29 cars.
Dan Rafael is the senior boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.