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Cotto-Canelo brings in 900,000 PPV buys on HBO


Canelo Alvarez Miguel CottoBy Dan Ambrose: If WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) was looking for an excuse for why he shouldn’t have to face interim WBC 160lb champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) now or perhaps never, I think he finally has got the excuse.

Canelo’s recent fight last month against former WBC middleweight title holder Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) brought an official number of 900,000 pay-per-view fights on HBO, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

Mannix was told by HBO’s Mark Taffet about the 900K buys. The Cotto-Canelo fight also generated $58 million in revenue, which is obviously very good.

If you compare the Cotto vs. Canelo PPV numbers to Golovkin’s recent 150,000 PPV buys against former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux last October, it’s pretty clear that the Cotto-Canelo numbers dwarfed the Golovkin-Lemieux numbers. In fact, they outdid the Golovkin vs. Lemieux fight by 750,000 buys. That’s pretty substantial.

Canelo didn’t look so great in barely beating Cotto by a 12 round unanimous decision. However, the judges gave Canelo a unanimous decision win by the scores of 118-110, 119-109 and 117-111. I didn’t agree with the ridiculous scores because they weren’t reality based. Those were scores from a much different fight than the one we saw. I had Canelo winning by a couple of rounds.

It was very close on my scorecard. Cotto lost it by not fighting as hard as he could in the last two rounds of the contest. If he had simply boxed hard in the 11th and 12th rounds, I would have scored the fight even or possibly given it to Cotto.

What was really alarming about the Cotto-Canelo fight was how huge Canelo looked. He didn’t weigh-in on HBO’s scales for the fight apparently, but he looked bigger than I remember ever seeing him before. Canelo weighed in successfully at 155lbs to make the agreed upon catch-weight limit, so it didn’t matter how much he rehydrated for the fight. However, Canelo still looked very, very heavy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he rehydrated to 185 for the fight, because he looked bigger than a 175lb fighter in my estimation.

If HBO had weighed Canelo and listed his weight before the fight, it would have taken away Canelo’s argument that Golovkin – or other fighters – need to fight him at a catch-weight of 155lbs. It would also take away Canelo’s argument that he’s not a true middleweight.

If you’re rehydrating to 175 or higher, you definitely are a middleweight no matter how much you want to protest and say otherwise. A duck is a duck. You can’t look at a fighter that rehydrates to 175 to 185 and say they’re a 154lb fighter that belongs either in the junior middleweight division or in their own special division at 155lbs. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

The 900,000 buys for the Cotto-Canelo fight on HBO are far below the 2 million+ PPV buys that Canelo’s eager promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions was predicting for the fight ahead of time. De La Hoya was predicting that the Cotto vs. Canelo fight would do exactly half the 4.3 million buys that the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight would do.

The reason why De La Hoya thought that the Cotto-Canelo fight would do half the number of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was because he said he had slashed the PPV price of the Cotto-Canelo fight to have the number of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Since the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight went for $100 for standard definition on HBO/Showtime PPV, De La Hoya reasoned that the $59.99 price for the Cotto-Canelo fight on HBO PPV would lead to a lot of boxing fans jumping at the chance to buy the fight at a reduced price compared to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Obviously, the boxing fans didn’t see it as a good enough deal for them to purchase it in high enough numbers to make De La Hoya’s vision thing come true.

De La Hoya crowed after the Cotto-Canelo fight that Canelo is now the Number #1 fighter in boxing now that Mayweather is retired. That may or may not be, but Canelo clearly isn’t bringing in the same PPV numbers as Mayweather, and he definitely isn’t dominating his opposition the way that Mayweather was.

It would be a pity if Canelo uses his 900,000 PPV buy number as an excuse why he shouldn’t have to fight Golovkin. It would also be a pity if Canelo refuses to fight Golovkin because he won’t agree to fight him at his strength draining 155lb catch-weight division that he’s created.

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