Former world champions Roy Jones and Felix Trinidad may be past their primes, but they're still stars and boxing fans still love them.
Despite overwhelming prefight media criticism of their light heavyweight showdown last Saturday night at New York's Madison Square Garden, the fight drew a stunningly large audience. It generated 500,000 pay-per-view subscriptions and $25 million in domestic television revenue, HBO PPV's Mark Taffet told ESPN.com on Thursday.
It broke down to 300,000 cable subscriptions and 200,000 satellite buys, he said. Once all the buys are fully counted, the totals are expected to rise slightly.
"The Jones-Trinidad fight exceeded our expectations both in and out of the ring," Taffet said. "They proved that they still have a large, adoring fan base and they gave their fans their money's worth."
Although Jones was fighting his first high-profile bout since suffering three consecutive losses -- two by brutal knockout -- in 2004 and 2005, and Trinidad was returning from a 2½-year retirement and coming off a lopsided loss to Winky Wright, the Don King-promoted fight did better business than all but two of the pay-per-view fights in 2007. Floyd Mayweather's May win against Oscar De La Hoya set the all-time record with 2.4 million buys and Mayweather's December knockout of Ricky Hatton generated 850,000 buys.
For Jones, the figure was his second-best pay-per-view performance. Only his heavyweight title win against John Ruiz in 2003 did more business, 604,000 buys.
The fight was Trinidad's fourth-best pay-per-view performance behind only his record-setting fight with De La Hoya in 1999 (a then-non-heavyweight record 1.4 million buys), his epic battle against Fernando Vargas in a 2000 junior middleweight unification fight (560,000 buys) and his 2005 loss to Wright (520,000).
HBO will replay Jones' two-knockdown, unanimous decision against Trinidad on Saturday (10 p.m. ET/PT) along with same-day taped coverage from Germany of the Alexander Povetkin-Eddie Chambers heavyweight title elimination fight.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.