HBO sent out a press release today reporting that the May 5 pay-per-view headlined by Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto did 1.5 million buys, a very strong showing indeed but, it must be said, yet again well short of the supposed "early indicators" that had this fight "breaking all the records."
Mayweather defeated Cotto in an entertaining main event last Saturday, winning a 12-round decision in a fight that pretty much met its high-end expectation: Two great fighters providing a competitive bout, rather than one-way traffic in a wipeout, which has unfortunately become the norm for the major pay-per-view events in boxing.
With its hefty price tag, the event generated $94 million in pay-per-view revenue, second in non-heavyweight history only to Mayweather's 2007 win over Oscar De La Hoya, which pulled in $137 million. That fight is still far and away the benchmark for everything: PPV buys, PPV revenue, gate revenue.
This is a number straight from HBO, so for once there should be no quibbling about the legitimacy. This isn't a promoted-floated number, and to be perfectly honest, a lot of the recent PPV figures you've heard about are suspect, given that they were promoted-reported. This one is real. This fight was really bought by 1.5 million people in the States.