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It’s Official! Golovkin-Lemieux brings in 150,000 PPV buys

Boxing: Golovkin vs LemieuxBy Chris Williams: The pay-per-view numbers are officially in for last Saturday’s fight between IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) and IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs), and the numbers aren’t far off the projections.

According to ESPN.com, the Golovkin-Lemieux fight brought in just a little over 150,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO from Madison Square Garden in New York. Golovkin won the fight by an 8th round knockout in a non-competitive fight. The good news is that the PPV money is over $8 million. Just how much of that will go to Golovkin and Lemieux is unclear.

“It will do just over 150,000 buys, which was the number we originally based things on when we talked to Golden Boy about making the fight to determine how much Lemieux would need and what Gennady would need,” Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler said to Dan Rafael via ESPN.com.

So let me get this straight; the 150,000 PPV buys is what K2 Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions originally projected for the Golovkin-Lemieux fight? I don’t believe that for a second. I think they were hoping to bring in 250,000 to 300,000 PPV buys on HBO.

The 150,000 buys has got to be well below their expectations for the fight, and it’s not a good thing for Golovkin, K2 or Lemieux and his promoters at Golden Boy. If Golovkin had brought in 250-300K PPV buys, then he would have been in an excellent position to get a fight against the winner of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto bout on November 21st.

Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez and promoter Loeffler seemed to be overly ambitious going into the fight due to the high presale numbers for the fight for their fight at Madison Square Garden. The hope was that with the fast ticket sales for the Golovkin-Lemieux fight, it would possibly bring in a lot of PPV buys. But instead of the fans purchasing the fight in high numbers on HBO, they balked at the $45 asking price on PPV and chose instead to stay away in high numbers.

That’s not to say that the Golovkin vs. Lemieux fight wouldn’t have brought in good numbers if the fight was on regular HBO Championship Boxing, because it probably would have. But asking fans to start paying to see a fighter that they used to see for free is always a tough task, especially when he’s being matched up against a Canadian fighter who was previously exposed in the past against weaker opposition.

“I thought it would have a good chance to break 200,000, but with all the college football games and no way to predict the Mets would be playing the Cubs — a high-end playoff series — it was tough,” Loeffler said.

I don’t buy that as being a legitimate excuse that Loeffler is saying about the college football and Mets vs. Cubs game. I think Loeffler is in a state of denial right now. Believe me, if this was someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Miguel Cotto fighting on that night, boxing fans would have made sure they tuned in to pay to see those fights. But the fans weren’t interested in seeing the Golovkin vs. Lemieux fight for some reason.

My theory is they didn’t see it as a compelling fight. One of reasons for boxing fans staying away, besides it not being a great fight, is the lack of an overpowering personality that Golovkin has. He’s just too nice for his own good. He needs to talk more trash and go after his opponents verbally instead of being so good natured all the time. That is such a turn off to the fans. It might as well be fan repellent.

If Loeffler wants to bring in good PPV numbers for Golovkin’s fights, then he’s going to need to work on his personality some to get him to be a little more abrasive. It’s not going to work with Golovkin being so well-mannered all the time. One of the reasons why that boxing fans loved Floyd Mayweather Jr so much was because of his fantastic personality. Mayweather was never afraid to speak his mind about anyone. He didn’t have an internal censor working overtime, keeping him from saying what he felt about his opponents.

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