Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez represented the biggest fight boxing could make without involving Mayweather or Pacquiao, and the big question was how well this fight would sell, especially just months after Mayweather/Pacquiao destroyed every PPV record known to man. If the early indications are anything to go by, it sold pretty damn well, and is on track to rake in at least 900,000 buys, as ESPN's Dan Rafael tweeted:
No #CottoCanelo PPV figs yet. Will be few days but based on early satellite numbers, source involved told me it's a lock to do at least 900k— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) November 23, 2015
So as things stand, just pretend I never wrote this article on Friday.
Of course, as you're familiar with whenever the UFC does something similar, this is all really early information and more time is obviously needed before declaring the final number. That said, it's certainly a very positive sign that this PPV is an apparent success. Oscar De La Hoya expected it to do at least 1 million buys (before going way overboard and thinking it could possibly do 2+ million), so there's definite reason for optimism.
The 25-year-old Canelo was the arguable A-side in this matchup and it stands to reason that this backs up the claims that he is boxing's next big superstar. Just two years ago he was opposite Floyd Mayweather for a 2+ million buy PPV, making it the 3rd most successful one of all-time. His KO of James Kirkland in May 2015 was HBO's most-watched live fight for almost a decade. Golden Boy Promotions will surely want to make the most of his youth and stardom for as long as possible. We'll learn a lot more about Canelo's future within the next 2 weeks, as the WBC has given him and his team 15 days (from last Saturday) to negotiate a fight with Gennady Golovkin, otherwise Alvarez risks losing his middleweight title.
For Cotto, it's another strong number for him. His two highest selling PPVs are 1.5 million vs. Floyd Mayweather in 2012 and 1.25 million against Manny Pacquiao in 2009. The early report from Rafael would put the Canelo fight at 3rd, overtaking his 2011 rematch against Antonio Margarito, which drew an estimated 600,000 buys. Unfortunately, if the numbers for Cotto-Canelo are as good as expected, Miguel's top 3 PPVs of his career would have all ended in losses.
While we're talking Cotto-Canelo, here's an update on the purses from Saturday's show. We already knew about Cotto pocketing $15 million to Canelo's $5 million (both with PPV bonuses in play), but the undercard fighters, all of whom were in weight classes no bigger than 130 lbs, received a combined $1.225 million. Takashi Miura, who was dramatically stopped by Francisco Vargas in the 9th round to lose his 130 lbs title, was the highest paid of the group at $400,000.
Undercard purses for #CottoCanelo per NSAC: Mirua $400k, Vargas 200k, Velez & Rios 75k each, Rigo $350k (#zzzzzzzzzzz), Francisco 125k— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) November 23, 2015
...And for those of you who watched Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Drian Francisco, you'll know why A.) No US TV network is itching to buy the rights to his fights and B.) Rafael had that #zzzzzzzzzzzz hashtag.