Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s impressive majority decision victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Saturday is projected to surpass the record $137 million in pay-per-view sales that Mayweather’s 2007 victory over Oscar De La Hoya generated, officials announced Thursday.
“My calculator is steaming,” said fight promoter Richard Schaefer, the chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions. “While the numbers are still coming in, I am confident in saying this will be the highest-grossing pay-per-view of all time, millions more than the record.”
Mayweather improved to 45-0 with the convincing victory at MGM Grand in Las Vegas that included a highly criticized 114-114 score by Nevada judge C.J. Ross, who Tuesday resigned her position after the outrage.
The popular, 23-year-old Alvarez (42-1-1) of Mexico surrendered his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. light-middleweight belts, failing to effectively penetrate Mayweather’s defense.
While the bout is not expected to meet the record 2.5 million pay-per-view buys of Mayweather-De La Hoya, it cost as much as $75 if U.S. viewers ordered the high-definition broadcast, while Mayweather-De La Hoya sold for $50.
Schaefer said he is certain the bout sold more than 2 million pay-per-views, with estimates at 2.2 million for total sales around $150 million.
[Update, 2:35 p.m.: Showtime has announced that the Mayweather-Alvarez fight has "nearly $150 million in U.S. pay-per-view revenue reported to date," and that "preliminary reports ... show pay-per-view buys projected to be 2.2 million ... total buys could challenge the existing record ... set by De La Hoya vs. Mayweather."]
The bout also generated a record $20 million live gate, with $2.6 million in closed-circuit sales in Las Vegas.
The $40.87-million check Schaefer wrote Mayweather for the bout, the fighter’s guarantee before undisclosed pay-per-view bonuses, showed up Thursday on the Internet. Alvarez received a $5-million guarantee.
[Update, 4:34 p.m.: Mayweather's advisor, Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions, said, "Floyd is ecstatic and this is another example that he's been the most dominant athlete in sports for several years. And he gets paid accordingly."]
The fast-punching and quick-moving veteran said he will fight again in May after fulfilling the second bout in what could be a six-fight, 30-month deal with Showtime.
Wednesday, Golden Boy announced 78.4% of all households with a television set in Mexico tuned in to the fight on the country’s network Televisa, creating a record television audience for a boxing event.
The Mexico figures equated to an estimated 22.1 million viewers and 5.9 million television households.
A 1999 soccer match between Mexico and Brazil and some popular telenovelas drew greater audiences on Mexican television than Alvarez’s loss.
“Canelo is undisputed as the biggest star Mexican boxing has today,” Schaefer said in a statement.