Floyd Mayweather’s May 1 fight
against Shane Mosley cemented his championship
pedigree both inside the boxing
ring and at the pay-per-view box office.
Now, cable operators want the next one
even more: a potential blockbuster fight between
Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Industry executives believe a potential
matchup between the two best pound-forpound
fighters in the sport could be the most
lucrative prize fight in PPV history and is the
most logical follow-up to the HBO-distributed
Mayweather-Mosley fight, which generated
1.4 million pay-per-view buys.
“Mayweather-Pacquiao is the only fight in
any weight division that people want to see,”
said Tony Paige, a veteran boxing writer and
sports-talk radio host on New York’s WFAN radio.
“I don’t think any other fight has the sizzle
of Mayweather-Pacquiao — it has the potential
to break all [PPV records] across the board.”
HBO Sports executives would not comment
on potential negotiations between the
two fighters. A potential March 13 fight between
the two champions fell apart after
Pacquiao refused to submit to random drug
testing prior to the fight as requested by the
The buzz surrounding a Mayweather-Pacaquiao
fight comes on the heels of Mayweather’s
unanimous-decision win against
former welterweight champion Mosley. That
fight’s 1.4 million PPV buys included 740,000
from cable homes and 660,000 from satellite
and telco homes, HBO officials said.
The Mayweather-Mosley fight also generated
$78.3 million in PPV revenue, making
it is the second highest-grossing non-heavyweight
PPV event in boxing history, surpassing
the 1999 Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad bout,
which generated $70.6 million in PPV buys. The
fight is also the top-performing PPV event in
2010, topping the March 13 Pacaquiao-Joshua
Clottey fight, which drew 800,000 buys.
“The boxing pay-per-view category is vibrant,
and we are thrilled to see distributors’
efforts rewarded with these results,” HBO
Sports senior vice president Mark Taffet told
The performance marks the second consecutive
1 million buy PPV event involving
Mayweather, whose May 2007 fight against
De La Hoya is the highest-grossing fight of all
time; it generated $137 million.
Other than a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao
fight in the fall, the PPV boxing calendar
is unclear. HBO earlier this month announced
a July 31 PPV event headlined by a rematch
bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan
Diaz, but no other mid-sized to mega PPV boxing
event has been scheduled to date.