As if Kevin Iole saying last night that one million buys was possible for Mayweather-Marquez didn't kick off enough of a strange, near-violent reaction, I did some asking around myself last night after being somewhat perplexed by the venom the very idea of this brought forth. In short, I went straight to the man who had the sources: Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports.
The number could go as high as 1.6 million, as Kevin Iole told me last night over some back-and-forth messaging. Iole told me that a million is "definite," and says that HBO will release the numbers either today or on Thursday.
Some will be skeptical, and I am, too. But when I compare this to how the Hatton-Pacquiao numbers came out, it's a bit different. You'll recall, probably, that the first numbers we heard for that fight were supposedly between 1.6 and two million buys, that being the number that Bob Arum threw out there. Arum had previously stated during the press build-up that he felt the fight could break the all-time PPV record, which is 2.4 million, as set by Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007.
That came down to about 825-850,000 buys in America when Dan Rafael of ESPN did some digging in the following days, after Arum, perhaps feeling a bit embarrassed by his leap of faith coming down at about half of what he was saying, didn't want the numbers to be released, claiming it was nobody's business but that of the promoters and fighters. He did not address the fact that he was so giddy to proclaim massive numbers just days before, but that's another story for another time.
Golden Boy and HBO were not pleased with Arum's insistence that the fight's buys not be released to the public. They felt good about what everyone accomplished, but for Arum, it could have been seen many ways. Negotiating tactic with Mayweather and Pacquiao down the line, for one. That number didn't beat Mayweather's number with Hatton, and it sure doesn't look like it's going to beat this one.
This is, again, not official. But if this turns out as it looks right now, a lot of people may need to re-evaluate how they're looking at Mayweather as a draw. This fight may have seemed limp on paper to the diehards, but the casual audience didn't really know that.
This is not promoters throwing numbers around, like with Arum and the Hatton-Pacquiao fight. This seems like it's coming out much differently than that. We'll keep you posted on any developments, but for the time being, everything is looking very good for Mayweather-Marquez.