The May 5 fight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto did 1.5 million pay-per-view buys, HBO Sports announced Friday.
The $94 million in revenue generated by Mayweather-Cotto represents the second highest grossing non-heavyweight pay-per-view event in history, trailing only Mayweather’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya. That fight did a whopping 2.4 million buys for $137 million in revenue.
Mayweather has now generated 9.6 million buys in his nine pay-per-view fights, representing $540 million in revenue.
Aside from Mayweather-De La Hoya, only four pay-per-view events have surpassed the buy total from Saturday’s fight: Holyfield-Tyson II in June 1997 (1.99 million buys), Lewis-Tyson in June 2002 (1.97 million), Holyfield-Tyson I in November 1996 (1.59 million) and Tyson-McNeeley in August 1995 (1.55 million).
Mayweather improved to 43-0 and captured the WBA super welterweight championship with a unanimous-decision victory over Cotto, but not before enduring what many regarded as his toughest test in years.
HBO will replay the Mayweather-Cotto fight, along with the co-feature between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Shane Mosley, on Saturday night (10:15 p.m. ET/PT).
Mayweather’s 21-month retirement, which ended in 2009, did little to diminish his value as an attraction, as evidenced by subsequent fights with Juan Manuel Marquez (1.05 million buys), Mosley (1.4 million), Victor Ortiz (1.25 million) and Cotto (1.5 million).
Over that span, Manny Pacquiao — Mayweather’s lone rival to the mythical pound-for-pound throne — has posted comparable numbers in fights with Cotto (1.25 million), Josh Clottey (700,000), Antonio Margarito (1.15 million), Mosley (1.34 million) and a third fight with Marquez (1.45 million).
– Bryan Armen Graham