August’s cross-codes super-fight between boxing’s former pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor failed to break the Pay-per-view record set by Mayweather’s May 2015 clash with Manny Pacquiao, according to reports.
A few days after the fight, a video in which UFC president Dana White seemed to claim it had drawn an astronomical 6.5 million buys caused a real stir, but most experts suggested White was referring to worldwide Pay-per-view sales. Still, this would mean that MayMac outsold MayPac by 1 million buys or so internationally.
During an interview with Ariel Helwani on an episode of The MMA Hour at the beginning of September, Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza gave a more realistic indication of where the domestic numbers would end up.
“We have numbers, which are reported, which are expected to grow,” he said. “With the way pay-per-view works, we get numbers, and then they sort of trickle in going forwards. We are now sort of mid-four millions. If we see the growth that we typically see, then we’ll break the record. I don’t want to assume that we’ll get the typical growth, because this is not a typical event. There are many different ways in which this event behaved differently. But we have a very good shot of breaking the record(via Bloody Elbow).”
However, a report from Boxing Scene, is now claiming that the bout came in at 4.4 million buys, falling just short of the number hit by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao by roughly 200,000 purchases.
Before this bout, the highest drawing Pay-per-view event that McGregor had headlined was UFC 202 back in August of last year. That card, the main event of which was a rematch between McGregor and previous conqueror Nate Diaz, is believed to have drawn 1.65 million buys.
Other than the McGregor and Pacquaio fights, Mayweather’s biggest selling bout came against Oscar De La Hoya in May of 2007. That fight drew a then record 2.4 million buys. His September 2013 clash with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez also broke the 2 million-mark, drawing 2.2 million buys.
Boxing Scene also suggested that official numbers for MayMac could be released this week.
Writing for Forbes yesterday, Nelson Granados quoted the findings of a study from VFT solutions which claimed that an enormous dent was put in both the domestic and international Pay-per-view numbers for MayMac by piracy, with 100 million people illegally live-streaming the fight worldwide.
Earlier this month, the Nevada State Athletic Commission confirmed that Mayweather vs. McGregor had also fallen short of breaking the record at the gate, taking in $55, 414, 865. 79 compared to the $72,198,500 taken by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. It still slotted in comfortably at number two in the list of all-time gates.
Making his professional boxing debut, UFC star McGregor turned in an admirable and, in the eyes of many, surprisingly competitive performance, arguably winning the opening three rounds against an aged but still masterful Mayweather and lasting into the tenth before succumbing to a stoppage defeat neath a hail of shots on the ropes.
While Mayweather claims that the bout was his last, McGregor is expected to return to the UFC’s octagon in the near future, with recent reports suggesting that a third bout with the aforementioned Nate Diaz is a possibility for December 30th. ‘The Notorious’ Irishman has, however, not ruled out the possibility of another foray into boxing at some stage in the future either.