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The Other Side of the Coin: Potential letdown for Mayweather-Marquez buys

(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Since we've talked a lot about the potential mass success that's floating around as a projection for the pay-per-views sold this past Saturday, it really is only only fair that tonight we talk about the other possible outcome.

What if it's a more normal number, even if it's what would have been considered a success? Has the talk that has floated now ruined what would have been seen as a nice result for this fight?

Yahoo's Kevin Iole has been the source in the media for every rumor and report you've seen out there referencing the great success of the show, as projected by sources that are high up and would have an idea. The first report was just a blurb in Iole's MMA mailbag about the success of the head-to-head shows on Saturday, and this is what he had to say:

The UFC is a privately owned company and does not have to release its pay-per-view sales, which it chooses not to do. Occasionally, we’re able to find out what a particular fight sold, but it’s not often. From what I’m hearing, though, the Mayweather fight had a convincing victory. I’m hearing the Mayweather-Marquez pay-per-view is going to come in at or near 1 million sales. I don’t have a verifiable figure for the UFC, but I believe it will be far lower than 1 million. The boxing number should be released by Thursday at the latest and perhaps on Wednesday.

Later last night, I got in touch with Kevin and asked if he had any follow-up. He said then that he was hearing it could go as high as 1.6 million when all is said and done, and to expect an official announcement today or tomorrow. He also Tweeted about it. One million buys, he said, was "definite" according to his sources. Today's business hours have passed, and nothing has come from HBO, Golden Boy, "Mayweather Promotions" or anyone else.

Now, that in itself means nothing. There's still all of tomorrow while they get things together, and if I had to guess, they're going to throw in every buy they can count, from cable/dish orders and the 230-theater strong movie screen campaign. It'll all mash in, even though the theater customers didn't have to pay $50 and what have you.

As we talked about earlier, initial giddiness about PPV buys often tempers off into more realistic, more sensible territory. In May, Bob Arum was telling everyone who would listen that Hatton-Pacquiao did 1.6-2 million buys on pay-per-view, and it did, according to Dan Rafael, about 825-850,000 in the States. This was still an outstanding number.

We all find the projected numbers stunning, believe me, and I said earlier today that I remained skeptical. We talked about it because it's good discussion. Kevin Iole himself told me that the numbers he was hearing were, to him, "shocking."

I can say this: The numbers I've heard tonight are a far cry from that 1.6 million high-end estimate.

But again: None of this is official. It's speculation, it's people talking, and it's discussion fodder. If a number doesn't come out tomorrow, start getting really skeptical.

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