In a release of quotes from an Erik Morales/Lucas Matthysse conference call, Richard Schaefer noted the following, and I don't know if this is the second, third, fifth, or eighth time I've heard a promoter say something almost exactly like this, but it's happening again:
"Based on early indications I have a very good feeling, all indicators are that they are ahead of Floyd Mayweather-Oscar de la Hoya."
Schaefer is, of course, talking about the Mayweather vs Ortiz card on September 17, and comparing its "indicators" to the 2.4 million U.S. pay-per-view buys that Mayweather's 2007 fight with Oscar de la Hoya netted, which shattered the old record.
Boxing promoters keep looking for the fight to beat that mark, but they haven't yet come even close. Once again, a look back at what the biggest fights have been since the May 5, 2007 show headlined by Oscar and Floyd:
|Date||Fight||PPV Buys (Approx.)|
|2007-12-08||Mayweather vs Hatton||850K|
|2008-12-06||Pacquiao vs de la Hoya||1.25M|
|2009-05-02||Pacquiao vs Hatton||850K|
|2009-09-19||Mayweather vs Marquez||1M|
|2009-11-14||Pacquiao vs Cotto||1.25M|
|2010-03-13||Pacquiao vs Clottey||700K|
|2010-05-01||Mayweather vs Mosley||1.4M|
|2010-11-13||Pacquiao vs Margarito||1.15M|
|2011-05-07||Pacquiao vs Mosley||1.3M|
Again: Not even close. Nobody has sniffed two million, or even hit 1.5, let alone getting near the 2.4 million buy record. I remember there being some talk about at least three of these fights approaching two million based on "indicators" and what have you, and the biggest "flop" of those (it was by no means a flop) was Pacquiao vs Hatton, when Top Rank's Bob Arum spent so much time crowing about the incoming PPV numbers based on their indicators that he tried to hide the final numbers from the media, while HBO and Golden Boy (co-promoters for the fight) were ecstatic with 850,000 buys for two non-American junior welterweights in a PPV main event, and rightly so.
To be very clear about this, I would basically bet a foot that Mayweather vs Ortiz (1) doesn't break the record, (2) doesn't come close to breaking the record, (3) doesn't come close to two million buys, and (4) doesn't go over 1.5 million. I do think this might be the 1.5 million fight, though -- nobody can talk about this fight and say that Victor Ortiz is old or washed up or past his prime, and nobody can say Floyd isn't fighting the best non-Manny opponent that there is for him. It's a good fight that is being promoted well and will make its money.
But the only fight out there, indicators be damned, that could be in a position to go near the PPV record for the time being is Pacquiao vs Mayweather, and while I'm not convinced they'd top the 2.4 million either, I would favor them to do so, simply because this fight has built up so much longer with so much more public demand than Oscar vs Floyd had.
I am, however, genuinely interested in what these indicators are, and how they track interest. I have a vague few ideas on what might be included, but I'd love to know, because it is interesting to me that they do this. Or maybe it's one of those boxing things and doesn't even really exist, and it's just something promoters say. After all, the indicators in the past have apparently been terribly wrong.