The official number released jointly by Showtime and HBO today confirms that Mayweather-Pacquiao didn't just break the pay-per-view records, it completely obliterated them, coming in at 4.4 million buys in the United States.
Here's part of the statement:
The boxing blockbuster event, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, shattered the previous record for total pay-per-view buys and now ranks as the highest-grossing pay-per-view of all time. Initial reports from distributors indicate that the event generated more than 4.4 million U.S. buys and more than $400 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue alone. With additional revenue from the live gate at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, international television distribution, sponsorships, closed circuit and merchandise sales, the event is expected to generate in excess of $500 million in gross worldwide receipts. The news was announced jointly by Showtime Networks Inc., a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, and HBO in conjunction with event promoters Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, Inc.
... Live gate receipts for the star-studded event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena produced more than $71 million in revenue, dramatically eclipsing the previous live gate record of $20 million (for Mayweather vs. Canelo) for both the sport of boxing and Las Vegas.
Additionally, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao set the record for closed circuit admissions and revenue both in Las Vegas and at establishments nationwide. The event sold nearly 46,000 closed circuit admissions at MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas alone and was available at more than 5,000 bars, restaurants and commercial establishments throughout the U.S.
Obviously, this is a massive success, though the fight itself was heavily criticized. The money here completely blows away anything the sport has ever seen, and anything the sport will see in the foreseeable future. It will go down in history as the biggest financial success in the long legacy of boxing promotion. As for the fight, it won't be going down in history, at least not favorably.