The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight on Sept. 14 already had set a record for its live gate, but promoters think the addition of a championship bout between Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse to the card at the MGM Grand Garden also could break pay-per-view records.
Garcia will defend his WBC and WBA junior welterweight titles against WBC interim champion Matthysse as a co-main event, it was announced Thursday.
The Garcia-Matthysse fight, which has been weeks in the making, appeared destined for its own location and date. But when Mayweather was approached by Golden Boy Promotions about sharing some of the spotlight with one of the most anticipated fights of 2013, he readily agreed.
“We’re trying to bring more eyeballs to the sport and continue to uplift the sport in a positive way,” Mayweather’s co-manager Leonard Ellerbe said of the major addition to the Sept. 14 card, which will be televised by Showtime Pay Per View. “This is another step in the right direction. People are going to come away from this fight and they’re going to be geeked.”
Golden Boy chief executive officer Richard Schaefer said the addition of Garcia-Matthysse to Mayweather-Alvarez might create the biggest Pay Per View night in boxing history. Mayweather’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya holds the current PPV record with 2.4 million buys and $140 million in revenue.
“After the last (Mayweather-Alvarez) press conference we held in Los Angeles, I felt very comfortable that it would match the $140 million in revenue,” Schaefer said. “I don’t know if it breaks 2.4 million buys, but I think the addition of this fight gives us a shot. I like our chances.”
Garcia, the 25-year-old from Philadelphia, who is 26-0 with 16 knockouts, said he’s looking forward to facing Argentina’s Matthysse, 30, who is 34-2 with 30 KOs.
“I’m excited to show the world why I’m the best 140lb fighter in the world. Sept. 14, it’s on!” Garcia told his 53,500 followers on Twitter after the announcement by Golden Boy, which promotes both fighters.
The Sept. 14 card already is sold out and has generated a record live gate of $19.5 million. Schaefer said more than 12,000 closed circuit seats have been sold at six MGM Resorts properties on the Strip. He said he was working with MGM officials to create an additional 20,000 closed circuit seats.
“The demand for this fight is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Schaefer said had Garcia-Matthysse been held as its own main event at another location, it would have done very well, with a live gate of over $1 million. But by bringing it to the MGM as part of Mayweather-Alvarez, it was an opportunity to pay back the hard-core boxing fan while hopefully creating new fans to the sport.
“As promoters, it would have been more lucrative to do it on a different date,” Schaefer said. “But this is our way of saying ‘thank you’ in capital letters to the loyal fight fans and an attempt to bring new fans to the sport.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.