Television industry people were braced for the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch to generate less pay-per-view buys than the first fight, and numbers that emerged Friday validated the opinion.
Fight promoter Golden Boy declined to provide an official figure, but an industry source well connected to satellite and cable systems placed the buys “between 1 and 1.1 million, definitely” not in excess of 1.1 million.
“You don’t have the digital number,” Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said upon hearing that information, but when asked how many pay-per-view buys were made digitally he did not immediately answer.
The industry official said there were 40,000 digital buys, calling it a “rock-solid number.”
An official statement released by Golden Boy read, “We will not be releasing overall figures for the fight but between a terrific gate, a very successful linear PPV buy rate and an explosion in digital PPV sales, Canelo-Golovkin II was a more successful event than its predecessor.”
Golden Boy has a history of objecting to industry figures on its pay-per-views, including Alvarez’s bouts with Liam Smith, Amir Khan and the 1.3 million buys reported by the Los Angeles Times following the first Alvarez-Golovkin meeting (a draw) in September 2017.
Yet, industry experts connected to the bout expected the rematch to not topple the first bout’s numbers because second fights typically fare worse.
Only three boxing matches — including last year's novelty Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor bout — have reached 1 million buys since Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao generated a record 4.6 million in 2015.