It looks like undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather will keep his consecutive streak of one million plus buy pay-per-view events intact with his Sept. 17 fight with Victor Ortiz.
At press time fight distributor HBO would not reveal final PPV buys for the fight, which featured a PPV boxing record $59.95 suggested retail price. But industry sources estimate that the fight has generated at least 1 million PPV buys, making it the second boxing event in 2011 to hit the category’s gold performance standard: Showtime’s May 7 Manny Pacaquiao-Shane Mosley fight drew approximately 1.2 million buys.
If the estimations hold, it will be Mayweather’s third straight 1 million plus PPV buy event. The fighter drew 1 million buys for his Sept. 2009 fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, and 1.4 million buys in his May 2010 fight against Mosley.
HBO tonight will air a much anticipated replay of the fight, which ended controversially after Mayweather knocked out Ortiz in the fourth round with a legal two-punch combination while Ortiz’ hands were down at his side, moments after referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight to admonish Oritz for illegally head-butting Mayweather.
While the controversial ending may have angered some PPV event buyers, In Demand senior vice president of programming and business development Mark Boccardi doesn’t think it will have an adverse effect on the PPV boxing category.
“[PPV] boxing has had a history of controversial endings, but I don’t think you can draw a parallel to any high-priced event in the past to a high drop off in performance for future events,” he said. “Could [the Maywewather controversy] leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths? Yes, but with the right fight and right amount of promotion I don’t buy into the fact that [it] will cause any decline in future events.”