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Mayweather-Marquez: 1 million PPV buys?

24
Sep

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, is beginning to enjoy the sweet fruits of vindication.

Schaefer predicted that the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez fight would do 1 million pay-per-view buys, a figure scoffed at by many observers who expected maybe 500,000. Now, it appears he might’ve been right.

Rumors have it that the number of buys is approaching that 1 million mark. Schaefer wouldn’t confirm or deny that, preferring to wait until official numbers come in, but he made it clear that that figure is in the ballpark.

He couldn’t have been more pleased.

“Through the roof,” he said, referring to the numbers. “I’m hearing through the roof. I don’t want to announce anything. When I announce it, I want to be able to fully stand behind it. It’s big, very big. A lot of people didn’t believe us. Maybe I’ve gained a little credibility with my predictions.

“Most importantly, I hope the world realizes when we release these numbers that Floyd Mayweather, love him or hate him, is today, without any question, no ifs, ands or buts, the No. 1 pay-per-view star in the world. No question about it.”

Schaefer hinted that the number will in fact exceed 1 million with an anecdote.

“Your colleague Dan Rafael [of ESPN.com] made a bet,” he said. “He said it publicly on his blog. He said, 'No way,' when someone asked if it would do more than 1 million homes. He said. 'No way, never,' that he would shave his hair if it did. Another guy said, ‘Would you shave your facial hair too? He said, ‘Absolutely.’

“I’m telling you,” Schaefer said, pointing to two reporters with shaved heads, “Dan is going to look like you guys.”

The fact the Mayweather-Marquez appears to have squashed a competing UFC card on Saturday makes the night particularly sweet for Schaefer.

Schaefer said Mayweather-Marquez did four or five times the numbers UFC 103 in Dallas did, although the latter wasn't a major promotion.

“UFC goes and announces that it had a $2.4 million gate,” Schaefer said. “We did three times that; we just didn't send out a press release. It's OK. (UFC President) Dana White makes all these negative comments about Mayeather. (Rival promoter Bob) Arum makes stupid statements, saying the only entertaining thing about Mayweather is when he shoots bullets outside the ring.

“It's just disrespectful of Floyd. We should be proud of an American who can generate $100 million in one night, not be on the guy's ass.”

Schaefer doesn’t know what might come next for Mayweather. It could be Manny Pacquiao, if he beats Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14. Or it could be Shane Mosley, who has been lobbying for the matchup.

“Floyd is going to fight where he can make the most money,” he said. “ÔǪ There’s Mosley, a great fighter. Pacquiao, a great fighter. Floyd will go wherever he can get the best deal. That’s what Oscar (De La Hoya) always did.”

So which is a bigger promotion: Mayweather-Mosley or Mayweather-Pacquiao? Schaefer went with Mosley, a partner at Golden Boy. Pacquiao is promoted by rival Bob Arum.

Schaefer also suggested the Mayweather-Mosley could break the pay-per-view record of 2.4 million, generated by Mayeather-De La Hoya.

“In my opinion, the biggest fight that can be made in the sport is Mayweather-Mosley,” he said. “The Philippines, obviously, has tremendous respect and love for Pacquiao. The Philippines comes to a standstill when he fights. We’re talking about domestic pay per view here, though. And there’s only one Floyd Mayweather; the guy sells here. Frankly, the bulk of the money is in the U.S.

“When was the last time there was a fight between two American superstars. It’s (Thomas) Hearns-(Sugar Ray) Leonard. This is just an event that will capture the imagination of the public.”

Meanwhile, Schaefer said Mosley and Andre Berto have a tentative agreement to fight on Jan. 30 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

“Shane isn’t going to wait around,” Schaefer said.

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]

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