As promised, HBO released a statement this morning confirming that the Mayweather-Marquez pay-per-view on September 19 did an astounding one million buys. The release said 525,000 buys came from cable, and 475,000 from satellite. $52 million of pay-per-view revenue was generated by the fight.
Mayweather is a pay-per-view superstar, and there is no questioning that anymore. The disappointing live draw is so much less important than these numbers that it can't be overstated. The much better-hyped, frankly, May fight between Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao did about 825-850,000 buys on pay-per-view in the States. It was a combination of Floyd's return and the always-loyal Mexican PPV audience, I'm guessing, that drove this fight's great success.
And we haven't even heard how the theater showings for Mayweather-Marquez went over from a business standpoint.
Bottom line: This fight was huge, way bigger than just about anybody expected. The fight had a late-week surge of interest that you could almost feel just from gauging online buzz. It exploded in those final days leading up to the event, but even with that, I expected nowhere near 1,000,000 buys. I figured 750K, maybe a bit more, at the very most. This is a stunning performance on pay-per-view. At the box office, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has backed up his mouth, and whether you love him or hate him, it looks like you paid to see him.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the promotion. What more can you say? They deserve great admiration for the business they drummed up with this bout. It's great news for boxing and yet another clear statement that this sport is nowhere near "dead."