According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, the numbers for the May 3 pay-per-view fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana aren't very good, and are certainly below the promoters' hopes. Rafael says that the fight sold between 800,000 and 900,000, according to his sources.
From Rafael's Friday chat:
Rob (Denton, Tx)
It took like 4 days for PPV numbers to come out for Mayweather-Canelo and it has been two weeks and no numbers for Mayweather-Maidana?
Dan Rafael, King Fight Freak (12:02 PM)
When a fight goes through the roof the cable systems are more anxious to report the numbers. When a fight doesn't go crazy they take their time. From what I am told by industry sources, Mayweather-Maidana likely will not crack a million buys. More realistically, I am told the number will be between 800k and 900k.
Rafael is spot on here. Last September, it was reported on September 19, five days after Mayweather-Canelo, that the numbers were big, estimated at 2.2 million buys. When the numbers are good, everyone gets crazy and reports the numbers immediately to celebrate.
When the numbers are not good, people take their time. More to the point, it seems as though they sort of hope that interest in what the numbers are will die down or even just go away entirely. Last year, when Mayweather-Guerrero was rumored to be at 850,000, Showtime argued that everything was preliminary, and that it was too soon to say. They also never really gave an answer.
I think we're seeing that happen again here. We're now two weeks past the pay-per-view. If there was a good number to report officially, Showtime would have reported it.
Thus far, Mayweather (46-0, 26 KO) has delivered big on one of three fights with Showtime Sports, scoring that massive hit with Canelo. I think we can now say that Canelo Alvarez contributed quite a bit to that show's number, and that for whatever reason anyone had, Alvarez was seen as a far more legitimate opponent than Guerrero or Maidana.
So what's next for Floyd? Do they go into a September rematch with Maidana now that the numbers have come back less than inspiring (or so we are led to believe, with past instances giving us reason to believe so)? Do they try someone like Danny Garcia instead?
Also, for whatever it's worth, this would be the third straight disappointing return for a major boxing pay-per-view in the U.S., following subpar numbers for Pacquiao-Rios and Pacquiao-Bradley II, and counting Mayweather-Guerrero, the fourth of five fights considered to be top-tier "events" that have not hit one million buys in the States.