De La Hoya, Mayweather Talk on Boxing's Return
LOS ANGELES — For a sport that has taken more than its share of slings and arrows over the last few years, boxing has proven to be as resilient as its greatest champions, rising from the canvas in 2007 to again take its place among the most popular and relevant sports in the world.
The latest sign that boxing is back came this week, when HBO revealed that the record-shattering May 5th super fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather did even better than initially thought, with final numbers now clocking in at 2.4 million pay-per-view buys and $134.4 million in domestic revenue.
These numbers have established De La Hoya as the all-time leader in pay-per-view sales with 12.8 million buys. Not only did his fight with Mayweather shatter existing records for most PPV buys for a non-heavyweight fight, it sailed past the previous leader for overall PPV buys (1.9 million, which was set by the rematch between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson in 1997).
“This is amazing news and the strongest possible sign that boxing is not only alive, but that it is thriving,” said De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions, the promoters of De La Hoya-Mayweather. “There is no proof like cold, hard facts, and the response of fight fans to these events has given me hope that this sport will soon be back on the front pages of daily newspapers and in the mainstream’s consciousness like it was in its heyday.”
“I’m happy that my fight with Oscar did so well, but I’m not surprised because this is what happens when you give the people what they want,” said Mayweather, who fights Ricky Hatton on December 8. “I am going to keep bringing that to the people and that’s what they will see when I fight Hatton. Plus, being a competitive person, I want to go past 2.4 million buys and show the world what boxing is all about.”
What’s even more impressive is that in this record-breaking overall year for the boxing business, there are still two PPV super fights left – the November 10th battle between Sugar Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto, and the grand pay-per-view finale December 8th between Mayweather and Hatton.
Added Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, “I’ve always said that if you brought great fights and great fighters to the people and promoted it properly that every fight fan would respond, and the success we’ve had this year proves it. This is the dawning of a new age for boxing, and we are proud to be part of its renaissance.”