May 5, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Miguel Cotto (center) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) embrace after the final bell at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won the fight by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Eat your heart out, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
On a night that saw UFC on Fox 3: "Diaz vs. Miller" grab just 2.4 million viewers on free TV, the Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto boxing bout on HBO pay-per-view (PPV) has registered 1.5 million buys.
That's according to HBO itself:
HBO Sports® reported today that 1.5 million pay-per-view buys were generated from the May 5 super welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fight was promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. The 1.5 million buy total generated $94 million in pay-per-view revenue. The performance of Mayweather-Cotto ranks as the second highest grossing non-heavyweight pay-per-view event in boxing history. No. 1 all-time is Mayweather's record-setting showdown with Oscar de la Hoya ($137 million) in 2007.
There's a reason they call him "Money." Mayweather is undoubtedly combat sports biggest star, right alongside Manny Pacquiao as the biggest box office draw in the industry today. For comparisons sake, the biggest event in UFC history, the landmark UFC 100 show that featured Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir for the heavyweight championship, Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves for the welterweight championship and Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping coming off coaching season nine of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) did 1.6 million buys.
Other factors obviously helped. Cotto brought a strong Mexican fanbase with him, on Cinco De Mayo, no less, which has traditionally been a big night for boxing. The match-up was also competitive, with pundits and media members alike hardly needing to embellish during the long lead up to the show.
Thankfully, the fight itself was well worth the coin.
Cotto, the Puerto Rican super welterweight champion coming into the fight, had more to offer Mayweather than any previous opponent before him, taking "Money" the distance and hanging around for 11 full rounds of action.
But come round 12 it was clear who the better man was and Pretty Boy Floyd spent the final three minutes dancing his way to a unanimous decision victory to push his career record to an unbelievable 43-0.
Is there anyone out there who can beat this man? Anyone at all?
The name that pops up more often than not is Pacquiao, of course. But it's not only entirely possible the fight never happens, it would be nothing short of a miracle if it does.
For starters, "Pac-Man" is fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas. Mayweather also has to report to jail on June 1 to begin serving a 90-day sentence for domestic violence charges. That's just the short term, however. There have been long term issues in putting the fight together, enough so that Mayweather has once again started talking about simply retiring from the sport altogether because he doesn't believe the Pacquiao fight will ever happen.
It would be a damn shame, too. CNBC reporter Darren Rovell believes the fight could make $200 million in revenue if it were to occur. But because we're dealing with boxing and a man who refers to himself as "Money," the decision on how to split all that alone is enough to give promoters a headache.
And so the fans will continue to long for the fight that will likely never come to pass.
For complete coverage of the Mayweather vs. Cotto PPV event, including fight video highlights, comprehensive recaps, photo galleries and more, click here.