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Golovkin-Lemieux said to be 125,000 PPV buys on HBO

Boxing: Golovkin vs LemieuxBy Tim Fletcher: It looks like last Saturday night’s clash between IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) and IBF 160lb champion David Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) brought in a disappointing 125,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO, according to the latest boxing news. The reports from industry sources haven’t been confirmed officially by Lemieux’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions or Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler of K2.

It’s going to be interesting now to see if Golden Boy and K2 Promotions will bother releasing the PPV totals to the boxing public. I could see where they might not want to because it would hurt both of their fighters. Golovkin needs his numbers to be high so that he can get the other fighters to face him on PPV.

If the 125K is correct for the final buys for the fight, then this has to be considered a disappointment because those aren’t the type of numbers that Golovkin, 33, needs for him to lure the winner of the November 21st fight between WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to want to fight him. On the contrary, with the 125,000 buys that the Golovkin-Lemieux brought in, if the numbers are legit, it’s going to give the Cotto-Canelo winner every excuse in the world to dodge the fight with Golovkin.

It will also make it easy for the other top fighters at 160 to avoid facing Golovkin. Fighters like Andy Lee, Peter Quillin and Daniel Jacobs have no reason to fight Golovkin if all he can bring in is 125,000 buys with the help of Lemieux.

You shudder to think what the final PPV buys would have been had Golovkin faced someone like Willie Monroe Jr, Martin Murray or Daniel Geale. Having Lemieux as his opponent really helped Golovkin bring in the 125K buys, you would have to think.

Golden Boy and K2 would likely be happy with 200,000 PPV, but obviously 125,000 is far below that number.

In fairness to Golovkin, this was his first fight on pay-per-view, so you can’t really downgrade him for not bringing in 1 million buys for the first time out on paid television. However, when you compare Golovkin to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Oscar De La Hoya, both of which brought in 300,000 pay-per-view buys in their first PPV fights, then it tells you how far off the beaten track Golovkin is. He roughly brought in only got half the PPV totals that Mayweather and De La Hoya brought in. Of course, those fighters were former U.S Olympians, who had fought their entire careers in the United States with many of their early pro fights televised in America.

In contrast, Golovkin fought in the Olympics for Kazakhstan, winning a silver medal in 2004. Golovkin’s pro fights didn’t start getting televised in the United States until 2011, and it wasn’t until recently that he started bringing in good ratings on HBO.

Golovkin did well in setting a pre-sale record for his fight against Lemieux at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight sold out completely the week of the fight with 20,568 fans showing up for the fight. However, the fight was a sick mismatch with Golovkin wiping Lemieux out in stopping him in the 8th round.

It wasn’t a particularly entertaining fight because Lemieux fought on the outside most of the night, and Golovkin mostly used his jab until the 5th round. It wasn’t the usual Golovkin that we’ve seen in the past where he wades in and looking to annihilate his opponents with hooks to the head and body. The Golovkin we saw last Saturday night was more Mayweather-likes than the slugger that we’ve known him to be in the past.

What this means, of course, is that Golovkin does not have the fan following to be a PPV attraction for the time being. If all Golovkin can do is bring in 125,000 PPV buys for a fight against Lemieux, then it suggests that HBO is going to need to back off from putting him in PPV fights in the future unless he’s facing a big star that can pro him up like Cotto or Canelo.

It’s possible that in the future Golovkin will become popular enough to become a PPV star in his own right once enough of his fights are televised on HBO, but for that to happen, Golovkin will need to add a big scalp to his resume like Canelo or Cotto.

The problem is that without Golovkin having the popularity to fight those guys, they don’t need to fight him. The low PPV numbers that Golovkin-Lemieux brought in are reason enough for Cotto and Canelo to never fight Golovkin.

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