Canelo Alvarez's 12-round shutout decision against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their long-anticipated all-Mexico rivalry fight on May 6 in Las Vegas generated at least 1 million buys on HBO PPV, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said Friday.
The total is the biggest in boxing since Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao shattered the all-time record with 4.6 million buys in 2015. Alvarez-Chavez is also the first boxing pay-per-view not involving Mayweather or Pacquiao to sell at least 1 million units since Lennox Lewis knocked out Mike Tyson in defense of the heavyweight title in 2002.
Alvarez's decision victory against Miguel Cotto to win the middleweight title in November 2015 came close, generating more than 900,000 buys.
There is still no official final tally for the Cinco de Mayo weekend fight, which was contested at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds. But multiple industry sources told ESPN the fight likely will settle closer to 1.2 million buys, meaning the domestic pay-per-view will have generated about $80 million, though around half that money goes to the cable and satellite providers.
"These numbers solidify Canelo as the undisputed biggest name in the sport of boxing, simple as that," De La Hoya said. "At 26 years old, there is no limit to Canelo's star power as he continues to cross over to mainstream audiences. Canelo only wants to take on the best and the biggest, and we're confident he will continue to shatter records as boxing's new pay-per-view king."
The total for Alvarez-Chavez, held at T-Mobile Arena, exceeded all expectations, which probably bodes well for Alvarez's next HBO PPV event, scheduled to take place Sept. 16 at a site to be determined against unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) in what is widely viewed as the biggest fight in boxing. That fight was announced in the ring minutes after the Alvarez-Chavez scorecards were read.
Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs), who easily outboxed the lethargic Chavez (50-3-1, 32 KOs), thanked his fans for their interest in the fight.
"Everything I do is for the fans, and I want to express my gratitude for everyone who watches my fights and shows their support," Alvarez said. "My fans are the greatest in the world and this year in September on Mexican Independence [Day] weekend, everyone can look forward to another incredible performance."
With Alvarez-Chavez garnering such big business, both fighters will make millions more than their minimum guaranteed purses because both will see cuts from the PPV profits.
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the fight also generated $10,631,850 in ticket sales.
That is the 20th-biggest gate in Nevada boxing history, placing it just behind the 1996 heavyweight title rematch between Tyson and Frank Bruno, which generated $10,673,700 from 16,143 tickets sold to the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and just ahead of the 2007 welterweight title fight between Mayweather and Ricky Hatton, which generated $10,393,950 from 15,488 tickets sold, also at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
For Alvarez-Chavez there were 17,143 tickets sold, 1,203 tickets for premium suites, 494 for the Hyde Lounge, 1,250 complimentary tickets given away and 420 credentials issues for a total attendance of 20,510, the T-Mobile attendance record for any event.