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'Canelo' Alvarez's victory over Miguel Cotto draws 900,000 pay-per-view buys

'Canelo' Alvarez's victory over Miguel Cotto draws 900,000 pay-per-view buys
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, right, attempts an uppercut on Miguel Cotto during their WBC middleweight title bout on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press)

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's unanimous-decision victory over Miguel Cotto on Nov. 21 generated 900,000 pay-per-view buys valued at $58 million, HBO and Golden Boy Promotions announced Thursday.

The figure marked the first time since the 2002 Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis heavyweight bout that a fighter not named Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao reached 900,000 buys.

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Mexico's 25-year-old Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts) won the World Boxing Council middleweight title by scores of 118-110, 119-109 and 117-111.

His promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was quick to provide his perspective on what the numbers revealed about Alvarez's performance as the bout's unofficial A-side fighter.

"Canelo is now officially the biggest star in all of boxing. Period," De La Hoya said. "And by committing to fight on Cinco de Mayo [May 5] and Mexican Independence Day [Sept. 16]  -- boxing's two biggest annual dates -- Canelo's popularity will only continue to soar for years to come."

Mark Taffet, the HBO executive responsible for pay-per-view broadcasts, said, "Cotto-Canelo performed superbly. … It puts an exclamation point on the biggest year in pay-per-view history. I couldn't be more thrilled for boxing … and the fans."

The May 2 joint HBO-Showtime broadcast of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight generated a record-shattering 4.4 million buys, but Mayweather's return bout in September on Showtime brought about 500,000 buys, and neither of his two fights before the Pacquiao showdown reached 900,000.

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