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Chavez Jr-Martinez official numbers: 475,000 PPV buys

By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum almost hit his pay per view projections dead center with his prediction that the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Sergio Martinez fight would draw between 500,000 to 600,000 pay per view buys. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, HBO is reporting that the official numbers are 475,000 PPV buys for the Martinez-Chavez Jr. fight last Saturday night. Of that total, 250,000 came from satellite and 225,000 from cable and telco. The fight brought in a huge $25 million. Not bad.

No wonder Arum, who promotes Chavez Jr, and Lou Dibella, the promoter for Martinez, badly want to have the fighters get it on again in a rematch next year at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The stadium holds 100,000, and with the huge Mexican fan base that Chavez Jr. has in the surrounding area, it’s possible that the fight could draw as many 40,000 to 50,000. I can’t see it doing more than that, however, because of how one-sided their fight as last Saturday but it’s hard to tell. If they promote the fight well around Texas and Mexico, it could do incredibly well.

You got to figure that most of the interest for this fight came from Chavez Jr. fans because Martinez has never fought on pay per view before and he doesn’t possess a huge fan base like Chavez Jr. The numbers suggests that Chavez Jr. could end as a big star in the near future if Arum is careful about who he matches him up against. It might not be wise for Arum to throw Chavez Jr. back in with Martinez just yet, because he was pretty well dominated in that fight but got a lucky break when he was able to knock Martinez down in the 12th. This allowed Chavez Jr. to escape the with many fans feeling like he could have won if there were a little more time. I’m not one of those fans. I think Chavez Jr. would have lost that fight if there were 15 rounds and not just 12. He had his moment and blew it by missing with his best shots, which allowed Martinez to recover.

HBO PPV chief Mark Taffet told Dan Rafael at ESPN “It significantly exceeded our expectations of 250,000 buys.”

Martinez ended up winning the fight by a wide 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 118-109, 118-109 and 117-110.

Chavez Jr. tested positive for marijuana after the fight and now faces a suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that could be as long as a year. Boxing fans will still be interested in a rematch between the two a year from now, but it probably won’t be what it would have been had the two fighters been able to fight again in early 2013.

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