The boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Saturday night might be the richest in the sport’s history.
Mayweather, 36, whose nickname is “Money,” will make a guaranteed $41.5 million for the pay-per-view bout between two undefeated 152-pounders.
[Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard] Ellerbe gave a brief glimpse into Mayweather’s private business world, and said the $41.5 million check he’ll receive on Saturday is but a mere pittance compared to what he might make if the fight breaks the all-time record of 2.5 million pay-per-view sales.
“The sky’s the limit on how well this fight does,” Ellerbe said. “You’ve got to remember we’re not in no situation. We’re controlling what’s going on. We’re dictating. We’re dictating the terms. So, if it goes through the roof, then it is what it is. He stands to make a whole lot of money in this fight.”
Alvarez (42-0-1), a 23-year-old star from Mexico, is guaranteed $5 million — his biggest payday — with “a chance to make double that if the fight is a big hit,” the Associated Press reports.
The fight in Las Vegas sold out in hours, but you can still purchase tickets on StubHub for up to $35,000. The cheapest ticket on the site as of Friday afternoon was $1,520.
Golden Boy Promotions is charging $64.95 for standard defininition pay-per-view and $74.95 for the HD version.
The undefeated Mayweather (44-0) has always been a big draw and his 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya is still the biggest selling boxing pay-per-view event with 2.4 million buys.
“We still can break the record, and we don’t have to do 2.5 (million buys),” Mayweather said during a recent conference call. “You have to realize we’re talking about financially. That was six years ago. ... The price of pay-per-view is higher now. So we don’t have to do 2.5 to break the record from a financial standpoint.”
Those type of numbers suggest that maybe boxing — a sport long said to be on life support — isn’t dying afterall.
“You can’t create a narrative that boxing is dying when the sport is producing great fight after great fight, drawing great numbers,” [boxing Hall of Famer Al] Bernstein said.