For the first eight months of the year pay-per-view boxing was off the sports industry's radar, but the events of this past weekend may have put the category back in the TV sports ring.
Saturday’s Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin pay-per-view boxing match lived up to its pre-fight hype and delivered an exciting, action-packed event for boxing fans. Alvarez won a close, majority decision over Golovkin in the rematch of the fighters’ November 2017 bout, which ended in a controversial draw.
Alvarez-Golovkin II provided a needed punch to the category, which hadn’t offered a marquee PPV fight card all year to starved boxing fans. The fighters were scheduled to square off this past May, but the fight was postponed after Alvarez failed two tests for performance-enhancing drugs.
It’s still too early to determine how many PPV buys the Alvarez-Golovkin II bout drew, but those who dished out at least $74.99 to watch the fight arguably got their money’s worth.
Going into the weekend the Alvarez-Golovkin fight was considered to be the most lucrative PPV event the sport could deliver in 2018, but social media posts Saturday from PPV boxing's revenue champions Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao about a potential rematch fight had the industry buzzing.
While both fighters are well past their primes – and their much-anticipated 2015 fight produced a lackluster performance in the ring – a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch still could go a long way in offsetting what has been a disappointing financial year for the category.
Mayweather-Pacquiao drew an industry record 4.6 million PPV buys. Cable, satellite and telco distributors would be overjoyed if a rematch between the 41-year old Mayweather and the 39-year old Pacquiao could generate business close to the PPV performance of their first encounter.