Anyone who has known me for some time, knows that I really enjoy sports, and that there is one in particular that I enjoy more than the rest: boxing. I like boxing because it´s not just an athletic contest, rather an “event.” A good fighter only fights two or three times a year, and a great fighter might fight only once or twice, as they get paid very well. There is no reason to fight often against others who are far inferior, which would fail to drum up interest and be a box office failure.
When I was growing up, Mike Tyson was the sport’s number one box office draw. You never knew what he would do before, during or after the fight, but, you knew that you would be tuning in. As I got into my 20´s, Oscar De La Hoya was known as the Pay-Per-View King. Every fighter within his weight class wanted to fight him, because it meant exposure and most likely, the highest purse of their career. His fights against Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas helped launch his rivals into stardom. Later in his career, De La Hoya fought Floyd Mayweather, which broke the Pay-Per-View record and reached 2.4 million homes. At $50, the orders equaled to $120 million for Pay-Per-View on revenue alone.
Flash-forward four years later, and De La Hoya is now retired, while Floyd Mayweather has taken over the throne as boxing’s Pay-Per-View King. Although Mayweather is highly controversial, he has amassed a following of people that hate him or love him. Next Friday, people can tune in to HBO and watch the award-winning series 24/7, which details Mayweather and Victor Ortiz, his 24 year old opponent, as they prepare to go to battle on September 17.
Expect this “event” to be a success for a number of reasons. The first is that the event takes place on the weekend of Mexico’s Independence, which has done well historically in the boxing business. The next reason is that his opponent is Mexican-American and fights with a very fan-friendly style that makes people believe that this could be a very entertaining event. Thirdly, HBO’s 24/7 documentary is being shown on CNN, its first time on basic-cable. The last reason why I believe that this event will be successful, is that the winner of this fight could and should be next in line to fight Manny Pacquiao. If it’s Mayweather, that could mean a $50 million pay-day for each. Not bad for one night’s work.