Canelo-Smith Does 300K PPV Buys
Canelo Alvarez’s knockout victory over Liam Smith in September sold roughly 300,000 pay-per-view buys, according to Oscar De La Hoya. The Golden Boy Promotions CEO first announced the figure to ESPN.
Canelo and Smith headlined the event at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 17. The building was filled with fans that supported Mexican star Canelo, who defeated Smith in the ninth round with a sharp shot to the body. Canelo, who had vacated his middleweight belt, won the junior middleweight title with his victory over Smith.
The fight generated around $20 million in pay-per-view revenue if the 300,000 buy count is accurate.
"We’re going to wind up doing close to 300,000 homes, which is great when you combine that with almost 52,000 fans we had in the crowd," De La Hoya told ESPN. "We’re very happy, extremely happy with the numbers."
Despite De La Hoya’s satisfaction with the event’s performance, Canelo-Smith sold substantially less pay-per-views than the Mexican boxer’s last fight, a knockout win over Amir Khan in May. Prior to that, Canelo sold 900,00 pay-per-views in his middleweight title bout with Miguel Cotto last November.
De La Hoya believes that the more modest numbers are a result of Smith’s relatively obscurity in the United States, especially compared to more well-known boxers like Cotto and Khan.
"Obviously, nobody had ever heard of Liam Smith, and when you have to try and sell a pay-per-view fight with somebody that nobody has ever heard of you have a tough job ahead of you," De La Hoya said. "We were able to attract the fans who love boxing, and they were treated to a special fight. When it was all said and done it was a terrific fight, a lot of action."
Canelo has stated his intentions to move back up to the middleweight division, where he seems destined for a showdown with champion Gennady Golovkin. Canelo and De La Hoya have been criticized for avoiding a fight with GGG, and some have speculated that the growing fan frustration has played a role in Canelo’s smaller pay-per-view sales.
De La Hoya believes that a rise back up to middleweight presents many opportunities for Canelo, and his PPV numbers will be higher with bigger-name opponents.
"I’m sure when Canelo decides to fight at 160 next year there will be plenty of name fighters and opponents who will bring excitement and great fights and the fans will acknowledge that and, once again, he will do even bigger pay-per-view numbers."
Canelo will be on the shelf until 2017 due to a hand injury he sustained in the second round of his bout with Smith. Golden Boy plans on Canelo fighting at the beginning of the year and then again in May, before hopefully facing Golovkin in September.