The excitement, which included five-hour waiting times, and the masses he saw come out during the 11-city press tour for "The One," the clash between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, has Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer believing that a pay-per-view gross sales record will be broken when the tallies come in from the Sept. 14 event in Las Vegas.
Schaefer presided over a luncheon for select media in Manhattan on Wednesday, and spoke, along with Mayweather Promotions' Leonard Ellerbe, Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, and Golden Boy COO Bruce Binkow. They shared some facts, figures and stats, which accentuated what Schaefer believes is a surge in momentum for the sport as a whole.
Ellerbe drew hearty chuckles when he shared anecdotes which he said opened his eyes to how big "The One" pairing could turn out to be. The fighters did an event in D.C., where Ellerbe grew up, and figured out just how many people were there to see the 22-year-old Mexican when, "I was booed in my own hometown!"
Mayweather had put a humorous spin on the fact that Canelo's rooters are more voluminous than the event's planners originally factored in when, Ellerbe shared, Floyd looked out at the sea of faces during the PR event in Mexico, and he said, "Man, I'm big in Mexico!"
The elevation, if this inkling plays out as Schaefer said it is trending, with Canelo emerging as a potent "A-side" in his own right, could threaten the all-time mark for a boxing pay-per-view event; $132 million was the gross take from the 2007 Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight, with revenue coming from a record 2.48 million buys. Doing a bit under 2 million buys (at $64.95 or $74.95 for HD) on Sept. 14 would surpass the $132M mark (at a $54.95 retail cost). Schaefer believes breaking the 2.48 million buy mark is possible, because so many trends are surpassing expectations, including the speed of ticket sales at the MGM, the closed circuit, sellouts at movie theaters showing the event, etc. And the gross record? "I am convinced it will be broke," he told NYFightblog.
I chatted with a few women who are part of the promotion, support staff and one person who is part of the ancillary marketing strategy. They all spoke favorably, a couple with a dreamy look in their eyes, when they spoke of Canelo. This fighter inspires the most naughty daydreams, pound for pound, I'd say. I put it straight to Schaefer: Does Canelo beat The Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya, in the realm of handsomeness, and ferocity of romantic adoration? "I'm Swiss," he demurred, chuckling. "But I saw more females following Canelo [during the media/fan tour] than I ever saw for Oscar."
Follow me on Twitter.