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06-06-2010, 07:37 PM
This is an interesting article regarding historic Pay-Per-View buys. The writer, IMO, is being biased against Floyd, but there are some good stats here.


Despite the 'Mayweather-Mosley' PPV numbers, Floyd Mayweather Jr is still not the 'PPV King'?

If you ask Floyd Mayweather Jr who the PPV king is, without hesitation, he'll tell you that it's "Money May". And after his fight with Shane Mosley, Floyd Jr has 1.4 million more reasons why he thinks so. The fight drew monster numbers for PPV buys.

On the flip side of this, Floyd Jr is using these recent PPV numbers to demand more of the fight purse against Manny Pacquiao. But, for the sake of this article, we are going to focus on PPVs sold and who really is the PPV king. Let's examine further.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Over the last year, Floyd Mayweather Jr has really pushed his money making abilities into the foreground of the boxing world. Floyd Jr calls himself the 'cash king', the 'PPV king', and the 'face of boxing'. In fact, Mayweather says he's in the 'cash checking' business when referring to the money he makes off his fights. His manager, Leonard Ellerbe echoes these same sentiments:
"They are great, great numbers. Floyd now holds the record for the two highest-grossing non-heavyweight fights in the history of boxing, which is amazing, considering he has only been in seven pay-per-view fights. It's another example of Floyd's tremendous star power. He's a tremendous star, generating huge numbers." Leonard Ellerbe, Grand Rapids Press

"I hope the world realizes when we release these numbers that Floyd Mayweather, love him or hate him, is today -- without any question, no ifs, ands or buts -- the No. 1 pay-per-view star in the world." Richard Schaefer, AP

"It feels good to be the pay-per-view king as I have always believed in myself, and obviously a lot of other people do, too," Floyd Mayweather Jr, USAToday

Mayweather Jr PPV History (source - ESPN)

1. Shane Mosley (5/1/10) - 1,400,000
2. Juan Manuel Marquez (9/19/09) - 1,000,000
3. Ricky Hatton (12/8/07) - 920,000
4. Oscar De La Hoya (5/5/07) - 2,400,000
5. Carlos Baldomir (11/4/06)- 325,000
6. Zab Judah (4/8/06) - 375,000
7. Arturo Gatti (6/25/05) - 365,000

Mayweather PPV average - 969,285 (6,785,000/7)

Let's see how Floyd Mayweather Jr compares to Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, and Oscar De La Hoya.

Oscar De La Hoya

Oscar fought on more PPVs (19) and earned more money (over $600 million) than any other boxer. He's responsible for the most popular PPV in all of boxing. His clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr set the record for most PPV buys with 2.4 million.

Now, Floyd Mayweather Jr and the rest of his team, like to say they were responsible for the PPV numbers. A quick glance at their PPV histories and you can see that Oscar was the main reason for this fight drawing the numbers that it did.

By May,2007 Oscar had already fought 16 times on PPV and had 2 fights already break the 1 million PPV mark. He also had 2 more fights that were just under 1 million PPV buys. Floyd Jr had only fought 3 times on PPV and generated a total of 1,065,000 million PPVs. In comparison, Oscar had 4 PPV fights in 1997.

Tell me how Floyd Mayweather Jr was responsible for the biggest PPV fight in history. And Floyd's PPV numbers against Shane Mosley equaled Oscar's total against Felix Trinidad 10 years earlier. In my opinion, the Tito/Oscar numbers are more impressive considering the less exposure, households, televisions, and satellite customers back then compared to now.

Oscar de La Hoya PPV History

1. Rafael Ruelas( 5/95) 330,000
2. Genaro Hernandez(9/95) 220,000
3. M.A. Gonzalez(1/97) 345,000
4. Pernell Whitaker(4/97) 720,000
5. Hector Camacho(9/97) 560,000
6. Wilfredo Rivera(12/97) 240,000
7. J.C Chavez II( 9/98) 525,000
8. Ike Quartey( 2/99) 570,000
9. Felix Trinidad(9/99) 1,400,000
10. Shane Mosley(6/00) 590,000
11. Javier Castillejo(6/01) 400,000
12. Fernando Vargas(9/02) 935,000
13. Yory Boy Campas(5/03) 350,000
14. Shane Mosley II( 9/03) 950,000
15. Felix Sturm(6/04) 380,000
16. Bernard Hopkins(9/04) 1,000,000
17. Ricardo Mayorga (05/06) 875,000
18. Floyd Mayweather Jr (5/07) - 2,400,000
19. Manny Pacquiao (12/08) - 1,250,000

Oscar De La Hoya PPV average - 738,947 (14,040,000/19)

Let's compare Oscar and Floyd's numbers with Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson.

Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao has become the world's top boxer but his PPV numbers haven't been the greatest. In fact, it's this very reason why Floyd Jr demands the majority of the fight purse against Manny if they fight. However, to Manny's credit, has totaled about 4 million PPVs over his last 4 fights.

Both Manny and Floyd Jr fought Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, and Oscar De La Hoya. Floyd totaled about 4.3 million PPVs and Manny totaled about 2.5 million PPVs. In fairness to Manny, Oscar was at the end of his career and the feud with Marquez wasn't a mainstream attraction in America. In fact, Hatton's mystique was gone by time he faced Manny because Floyd had defeated him 6 months prior.

Another thing to keep in mind, Floyd Mayweather Jr is an American athlete who's constantly in the public's spotlight. It's only been over the last 2 years that Manny has been a mainstream attraction in this country. Even though Mayweather has averaged more money per PPV, Manny was ranked higher than Floyd in total income for last year.

Manny Pacquiao PPV history (source: Pacland)

1. Erik Morales I 03/05 - 350,000
2. Erik Morales II 01/06 - 360,000
3. Oscar Larios 07/06 - Can't find numbers
4. Erik Morales III 11/06 - 350,000
5. Jorge Solis 04/07 - 200,000
6. Marco Antonio Barrera II 10/07 - 350,000
7. Juan Manuel Marquez II 03/08 - 400,000
8. David Diaz 06/08 - 250,000
9. Oscar De La Hoya 12/08 - 1.25 million
10. Ricky Hatton 05/09 - 850,000
11. Miguel Cotto 11/09 - 1.25 million
12. Joshua Clottey 03/10 - 700,000

Manny Pacquiao PPV average - 573,636 (6,310,000/11)

Let's compare Manny, Oscar, and Floyd's PPV numbers with Mike Tyson and Brock Lesnar.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson was easily the most feared man in boxing for several years. He defeated his opponents before stepping one foot into the ring. Tyson fought on PPV 10-12 times and holds 4 of the top 5 spots and 6 of the top 10 spots for highest PPV totals. In comparison, Floyd Jr has 2 of the top 10 spots.

Mike Tyson PPV History (source: Boxingforum)

1. Evander Holyfield 2: 1.99 million
2. Lennox Lewis: 1.8 million
3. Evander Holyfield 1: 1.59 million
4. Peter McNeely: 1.55 million
5. Frank Bruno 2: 1.37 million
6. Razor Ruddock 2: 1.25 million
7. Bruce Selden: 1.01 million
8. Razor Ruddock 1: 959,000
9. Frans Botha: 700,000
10. Andrew Golota: 450,000

According to About.com, Tyson fought 12 times. So, this list is missing 2 fights. If you go off this list's numbers, then Tyson is averaging over 1.2 million PPVs per fight (12,669,000/10)

Even if there are 2 more PPV fights and they only did as well as the Golota fight, Tyson will still average over 1 million PPVs per fight. (13.5 million/12)

Brock Lesnar

If we are to take a look outside of Boxing, Brock Lesnar is arguably the biggest draw. In the two UFC PPVs that he headlined, Lesnar drew massive numbers. Lesnar is set to fight again on July 3rd and most people think he will draw at least 1 million PPVs. As of right now, Brock is averaging 1.3 million PPVs per UFC event.

1. UFC 100 - 1.6 million
2. UFC 91 - 1.01 million

Brock Lesnar PPV Average - 1.305 million (2,610,000/2)


I hope this article puts the argument to rest. Floyd Mayweather Jr is not the PPV king. It's clear that 'Iron' Mike Tyson is the PPV king for now. He has a higher average of PPVs sold per fight, made more money, and has more Top 10 all-time PPVs. After Manny Pacquiao, Floyd's going to be hard pressed to find big enough names to rack up the PPV numbers to catch Mike Tyson.
If some of these numbers are inaccurate, please provide me a credible source so that I can update this article.

This could be viewed in many ways. Here's how I view it:

1. As a headliner, Brock Lesnar has the highest all-time average. Of course, I think it'd be important to add his wrestling headliner PPVs if you were to make it completely accurate. But in a REAL fighting sport, he's #1.
2. Total buys, nobody comes close to Oscar De La Hoya.
3. For boxing, Mike Tyson definitely has the highest all-time average.
4. No doubt, Floyd Mayweather has the highest average since his fight with De La Hoya.

Any other analysis?

06-06-2010, 08:31 PM
You know I've always got analysis! :laugh:

I will respond to your points though Rock...

1. Brock Lesnar fights for the UFC, so it's a different comparison entirely. At UFC 100 and UFC 87, he fought with GSP on the card. At UFC 91 he fought against one of the sport of MMA's top money makers in Randy Couture. When he fought his first fight for K-1 he had Royce Gracie on the card and the buyrate was only like 35,000 people. Also, adding Brock's WWE PPV's would be absolutely ridiculous considering that company basically laid the groundwork for the business style that UFC uses. The WWE never needed Brock Lesnar, not in a million years. They made Brock Lesnar the star he is today. You take Brock out of the WWE, nothing changes for WWE. You take WWE away from Brock and nobody knows who he is outside of college wrestling buffs. That would be like saying every buy on the Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen card should go to Silva because he is the "headliner" and bigger draw than Chael, when you have Matt Hughes fighting on the same card. It don't work like that, lol

2. Of course Oscar has the number for total buys, but Oscar also fought on PPV 19 times. He didn't just go from doing roughly 1 million buys against Hopkins and Mayorga to setting the all time record with 2.4 million buys against Floyd without Mayweather being the opposite end of that equation. So you can say Floyd didn't break it big until he fought Oscar, but Oscar and Golden Boy became MAJOR players after the Mayweather fight. They needed each other at the time, just like Manny and Floyd need each other now.

3. Mike Tyson could announce he was gonna take a dump in one of the bathrooms at Madison Square Garden tomorrow night and the building would sell out and it would get a million PPV buys. That's because Mike Tyson was the last American Heavyweight that made people truly excited. I believe that an era of Heavyweight dominance in North American Boxing culture died along with Tyson's career.

4. When Floyd says he's number one in PPV, he is talking about Boxing. Not UFC, not WWE, none of that. It is simply another made-up title that exists in the fight-game similar to "pound-for-pound" champion that fighters use to gloat over and play as bargaining chips. Oscar and Tyson are retired (no matter what rumors may come to light) so it's about who are the kings of the sport TODAY. In my opinion, Floyd right now has proven to be the bigger PPV attraction than Pacquiao, especially when you actually put a dollar amount on it. However Pac is still right there with him, and it's clearly going to be those two men who break the PPV records if they come together and fight.

5. If they had PPV in the 60's and 70's Muhammad Ali would probably dwarf all of these guys numbers.

06-06-2010, 08:40 PM
I wasn't clear with what I was seeking, what you gave is a response to my analysis, or rather, an analysis of my analysis :laugh:. I'm asking for people to make their own analysis from the numbers in the article.

I also forgot...
5. Pac is clearly the biggest foreigner PPV boxer, but is #2 in overall comparison to Mayweather.

06-06-2010, 09:15 PM
My analysis would be that Rick Rockwell, Michael Marley, Ronnie Nathanieslz, and just about every article I see from the Examiner are always extremely slanted against Mayweather. Those guys make Kevin Iole seem like the most level headed fight journalist out there. (Kevin isn't terrible all the time by any means, but that's another thread)

Basically, Rockwell's conclusion is Mayweather is not the king. What a shocker.

Well, as I said in my previous response, Oscar and Mike are retired from the sport almost without a doubt for good, so they are not even a part of this discussion. The discussion is about Mayweather and Pacquiao, and he can't even just admit that Floyd has outsold Pacquiao without finding a way to take Mayweather down a peg.

06-06-2010, 09:42 PM
There isn't really much more to say about the numbers in the article. The whole Boxing world has always known that Mike Tyson was the original PPV mega-star in Boxing.

It's funny how Rockwell has to assume that after Manny, Floyd can't generate big numbers with anybody else. As if Seldon, Ruddock, Bruno, and Mcneely were mega-star attractions when Tyson was still pulling over a million buys. Same goes for Manny too, both guys can, and will, be able to generate big PPV money after fighting each other (providing they don't retire permanently).

06-06-2010, 10:14 PM
Also, here is another point that just came to mind.

Star power has always gone a long way with casual fans pre-fight predictions, and historically the major betting lines as well (not always, but rather typically). The one fight that people like to refer back to as the barometer when comparing Floyd and Manny's PPV numbers is, of course, the fight with Oscar de la Hoya. So, let's look a little deeper...

When Floyd fought Oscar, he was widely considered the favorite to win the fight, and the betting lines favored Mayweather as well. Even though at the time Floyd still hadn't fully grown into the celebrity status he has today, he was still the favorite to win by people who still to this day don't know who Carlos Baldomir or Zab Judah are.

When Pacquiao fought Oscar it was slightly different. A lot of the Boxing world's more hardcore fans, and of course all the Pinoy fans, thought that Pacquiao would beat Oscar (because we all know Oscar's history of basically losing every major fight of his career). However, a lot of the media, and lot of the casual fans said Oscar would be too big and too strong for the little Filipino, and the betting lines favored Oscar to win the fight with a similar edge that was afforded to Mayweather in their fight two years earlier.

Then, we go back to looking at the actual numbers. The fight between Oscar and Floyd did almost DOUBLE what Pacquiao and DLH did, and I think that it's obvious to see that Oscar could have never done that big of a buyrate without Floyd Mayweather. After Floyd beat Oscar, then Hatton, he took his layoff and Pac emerged on the mainstream scene as the guy who was moping up Floyd's leftovers in a "more impressive" fashion. See, right there is the kicker. Even when Manny was looking awesome against Oscar and Ricky, the conversation still had the name Mayweather attached to it. As the hype surrounded this mega-fight more and more, people began to get attached to the debate and they took sides. Now the two are feeding off each other, but we can't forget how it all really got started, and that was May 5 2007.

The end point in this comparison is that it's wrong of people to say that Mayweather's rise to fame rests solely on the shoulders of his fight with Oscar, or that Oscar was responsible for all of the buyrate. The proof is shown in the press, and in the numbers, that Floyd was considered to be one of the P4P Kings of the sport before he fought Oscar, and after he beat DLH it only solidified it in the minds of more of the doubters. I take nothing away from Manny Pacquiao's accomplishments when saying this, but I do believe it to be true, without a superfight with Floyd Mayweather on the horizon I don't think Manny would have skyrocketed to success in mainstream North American fans hearts as much as he has so quickly. Manny was always gonna have the Filipinos, but it wasn't until Mayweather was tossed in the mix that he really blew up here with casual American fans. Essentially, it has been the perfect storm for both fighters, and its going to be a true meeting of two living legends (providing it happens, lol).