Big fight rings up PPV records


The megahype surrounding the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Oscar De La Hoya "battle for the ages" delivered for the boxers and HBO, with 2.15 million pay-per-view buys and $120 million in revenue making the bout the top event in PPV history.

HBO Sports said Wednesday that there were 1.2 million buys from cable and 925,000 from satellite homes for Saturday night's fight, which Mayweather won in a split decision. The totals are ahead of the previous PPV records of $106.9 million in revenue (for Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson on June 8, 2002) and 1.99 million PPV buys (for Evander Holyfield-Tyson II on June 28, 1997).

"This puts to rest the claim that boxing is dying or that boxing's in trouble," said HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg, whose company, along with promoter Golden Boy Promotions, put into motion an unprecedented marketing effort for the fight. "This fight never would have materialized if boxing was dying. It's alive and well."

It makes the "Golden Boy" De La Hoya gold in another way, too: He not only cleared an estimated $25 million for the fight, but he also becomes the highest-grossing boxing attraction in PPV history with $612 million in revenue generated from his 18 PPV fights.

HBO Sports isn't resting on its laurels. It has a busy postfight schedule, including a big Jermain Taylor-Cory Spinks bout in two weeks, plus another, albeit lesser, PPV matchup on June 9. And HBO will broadcast the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight, along with interviews with both fighters and more footage from its "De La Hoya-Mayweather 24/7" documentary series, on Saturday night.