Gennady Golovkin sees improvement in PPV buys for fight against Daniel Jacobs

Pound-for-pound king and unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin's unanimous decision win against Daniel Jacobs on March 18 at New York's Madison Square Garden generated about 170,000 buys on HBO PPV, K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler told ESPN.

In his second fight as a pay-per-view headliner, Golovkin saw improvement from his first foray onto PPV; his October 2015 world title unification fight against David Lemieux -- whom he thrashed in a one-sided eighth-round knockout, also at Madison Square Garden -- garnered 153,000 buys.

However, Golovkin probably did not pull in the kind of number against Jacobs, the second-best fighter in the 160-pound division, that figures to make putting together a much anticipated pay-per-view fight with superstar Canelo Alvarez in September any easier.

Nonetheless, Loeffler said he was happy with the performance of the fight, which grossed around $10 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue, although roughly half of that goes to cable and satellite operators.

"The projection we are now getting is in the 170,000 range, which we feel is a good improvement over GGG's first pay-per-view show and many recent pay-per-views," Loeffler said.

The fight, which got a lot of publicity, nonetheless was on a date that was not conducive to pay-per-view, as it came during the first weekend of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Loeffler acknowledged the difficulties of breaking through to mainstream sports fans on a weekend dominated by basketball.

"Going against the NCAA tournament wasn't easy, but that was the date that worked for Madison Square Garden and TV and it was a great boxing weekend in New York," Loeffler said.

The fight anchored a weekend during which the Boxing Writers Association of America held its annual awards dinner in New York on March 16, and the Theater at Madison Square Garden sold out for the professional debut of junior featherweight Michael Conlan, the Irish Olympic star, on May 17 -- St. Patrick's Day.

The following night, Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) -- in the toughest fight of his career -- scored a fourth-round knockdown of Jacobs (32-2 29 KOs), who is from Brooklyn, New York, and eked out a unanimous decision on scores of 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113.

Golovkin retained his title for the 18th time as he continued to close in on Bernard Hopkins' division-record 20 consecutive defenses. However, Golovkin's 23-fight knockout streak ended as he went the distance for the first time since an eight-round fight in 2008.

For the potential Alvarez-Golovkin fight to be realistic, Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) will have to defeat Mexican countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) in their catchweight fight (at 164.5 pounds) on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Golovkin also likely will fight once more, on June 10 in his native Kazakhstan, against world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs), of England, in an attempt to unify all four major belts.