Mayweather-Pacquiao eclipses 4.4 million PPV buys, $72M gate

The Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 officially destroyed all-time boxing records for pay-per-view buys, pay-per-view revenue and live gate -- just some of the numerous financial records shattered by the richest fight in the sport's history.

According to initial figures released Tuesday by Showtime and HBO, more than 4.4 million pay-per-view telecasts of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight were purchased in the United States, generating more than $400 million in revenue. Those figures nearly doubled the previous record for PPV buys and more than doubled the mark for highest PPV revenue.

Also, the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Tuesday that the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight generated $72,198,500 from the sale of 16,219 tickets at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The blockbuster welterweight title unification fight, more than five years in the making, may have been a dud in the ring as Mayweather outboxed Pacquiao for a unanimous decision but it was a gargantuan commercial success.

"I think it was something we knew we would beat the prior record, but we didn't have any reasonable expectation that it would exceed it by as much as it did," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, told ESPN.com. "We were confident it would go over 3 million (PPV buys), maybe do 3.5 million on the outside. But it just caught fire."

Arum said the initial number was "conservative" and projected that the final totals for the pay-per-view buys will "definitely" surpass 4.5 million.

"People were fascinated by the event," Arum said.

The previous pay-per-view revenue record and gate record had been set by Mayweather's junior middleweight title unification victory against Canelo Alvarez in 2013. That fight, also at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, generated $150 million in PPV revenue and $20,003,150 from the sale of 16,146 tickets.

Mayweather's 2007 junior middleweight title victory against Oscar De La Hoya had held the previous record for pay-per-view buys at 2.48 million, and that fight had a gate of $18,419,200 from the sale of 15,423 tickets to the MGM Grand.

"The incredible demand for the fight produced these unbelievable numbers," Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com. "Everyone involved with the promotion is extremely thankful and appreciative for the fans.

"Floyd always has an incredible expectation and he pushes everyone on his team toward our internal goal. He set the bar high for these record-breaking kind of events and none of this would be possible without the support of the fans across the globe. There are no losers when you talking about chopping up this kind of paper (money)."

The deal between the camps called for Mayweather to earn 60 percent of the revenue and for Pacquiao's side to receive 40 percent. With such a massive pay-per-view total, they will both earn millions more than initially expected.

Mayweather could earn $250 million, with Pacquiao set to make more than $120 million.

"Floyd is going to make a lot of money," said Ellerbe, who was at a loss for any other words on the topic.

The event will easily soar past $500 million in total revenue, making it by far the richest fight in boxing history.

Additional fight revenue included:

• A record of approximately $40 million from international television rights from 175 countries;

• A record $13.2 million from sponsorships, including a record $5.6 million paid by Tecate as the title beer sponsor;

• Nearly $19 million in national closed circuit revenue from tickets sold at more than 5,000 bars, restaurants and commercial establishments;

• Another $6.9 million in closed circuit revenue from a record 46,000 tickets sold (at $150 apiece) at MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas;

• Merchandise sales approaching several million dollars.

Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, the event's co-promoters, said numerous times prior to the fight that there would be no free tickets, but according to the commission gate report, there were 46 complimentary tickets issued -- four in the $10,000 price category and 42 in the $2,500 price range. Surprisingly, there were nine unsold tickets to the fight -- six in the $7,500 category, two in the $5,000 category and one in the $3,500 price range.

As for the breakdown, $12.26 million came from the sale of 1,226 tickets with a face value of $10,000. Another $11.955 million came from the sale of 1,594 tickets in the $7,500 range.

The most money -- $24.67 million -- came from the sale of 4,934 tickets in the $5,000 range. Another $14,143,500 came from the sale of 4,041 tickets at $3,500 apiece.

The $2,500 price range generated $6.335 million from the sale of 2,534 tickets and the $1,500 price range generated $2.835 million from the sale of 1,890 tickets.

The average face value cost of tickets to the fight was $4,451.48, although it was much greater in reality because of the mark up of the ticket prices on the secondary market.

To put the Mayweather-Pacquiao gate record in perspective, the Super Bowl typically generates a gate of around $80 million. The big difference, however, is that there are usually more than 70,000 tickets available for the Super Bowl.