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BIGGEST PAY-PER-VIEW DRAWS IN BOXING

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
Mon, 19 Jan 2009



Pay-per-view (PPV) is the scheme by which television spectators can pay for events to be seen on TV for the private live telecast of the event in the convenience of their homes. The first major pay-per-view event took place on September 16, 1981, when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Thomas "Hitman" Hearns for the world welterweight championship.

However, the term "pay-per-view" was not popularly used until the 1990s, when companies like IN DEMAND, HBO, and Showtime started using the system to show movies and some of their productions.

In boxing, the leading PPV seller is Oscar De La Hoya, who has sold 14.1 million units total, giving $696 million in television receipts. Second is Mike Tyson, with 12.4 million units ($545 million). In third place is Evander Holyfield, with 12.6 million units ($543 million).

The top ten biggest pay-per-view draws in boxing history:

No. 1. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather, May 2007 - 2.4 million PPV buys

Promoted by De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions, it was an HBO box-office hit. De La Hoya makes $23 million, more than twice Mayweather's catch, despite losing the fight.

No. 2. Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson (rematch), June 1997 - 1.99 million PPV buys

Millions watched Tyson if he can win back the heavyweight crown he lost to Holyfield the previous year. But, they saw one of the weirdest fights in history: Tyson is disqualified for biting Holyfield's left ear. Tyson's career plunged rapidly after the fight.

No. 3. Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson, June 2002 - 1.97 million PPV buys

The 35-year-old Tyson took one last attempt at regaining his championship belt. But Lewis disposed him with an eighth-round knockout.

No. 4. Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson (first match), November 1996 - 1.59 million PPV buys

Holyfield?s career was thought to be dwindling at age 34. But he takes the WBC title aggressively that Tyson was always on the defensive before tiring out. The fight was stopped in the 11th round.

No. 5. Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley, August 1995 - 1.55 million PPV buys

Tyson's return after a three-year prison term for rape draws a big curiosity. But he knocked out journeyman McNeeley in just 89 seconds.

No. 6 (tie). Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad, September 1999 - 1.4 million PPV buys

The biggest-selling non-heavyweight fight in history before the De La Hoya- Mayweather fight came. Trinidad won the welterweight title by coming out a close majority decision.

No. 6 (tie). George Foreman vs. Evander Holyfield, April 1991 - 1.4 million PPV buys

Holyfield won the heavyweight crown from James "Buster" Douglas, who won it with a shocking win over Tyson. Holyfield took a unanimous decision against Foreman, a 42-year-old former champion. But Foreman finished the fight and went the distance against the younger champion.

No. 8. Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno, March 1996 - 1.37 million PPV buys

Tyson regains the WBC crown stopping Bruno by a third-round knockout.


No. 9 (tie). Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar de la Hoya, December 6, 2008 ? 1.25 million PPV buys

De La Hoya was pummeled by Pacquiao en route to a possible career-ending eighth-round TKO loss. It is a monstrous total in a tough economy and makes the fight the third biggest-selling non-heavyweight fight in history.

No. 9 (tie). Mike Tyson vs. Razor Ruddock (rematch), June 1991 - 1.25 million PPV buys

Their first bout was controversial, which is a technical knockout win for Tyson, with referee Richard Steele blamed for ending the bout prematurely. In the rematch, Tyson easily defeated Ruddock in a 12-round decision.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.

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