“The Money Fight” came up a little bit short of record breaking.
According to a release from Showtime Sports, the Aug. 26 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor sold 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America. That figure includes television distribution as well as online platforms such as the Showtime PPV app, ShowtimePPV.com and UFC.TV.
That makes the bout the second-largest grossing pay-per-view event ever behind only Mayweather’s May 2015 showdown with Manny Pacquiao, which did 4.6 million buys. “The Money Fight” exceeds the third-best seller by a significant margin, as Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya did 2.48 million buys in 2007.
Not long after the fight’s conclusion, UFC President Dana White claimed that it sold 6.5 million pay-per-views. Shortly thereafter, Showtime Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza offered a more conservative estimate in the mid-to-high 4 million buy range, but still called the event a “massive success.” Even if it didn’t reach White’s lofty projection, Mayweather vs. McGregor did quite well in a number of categories.
“The total global revenue from the event including ticket sales, sponsorship and international distribution exceeds $600 million, which—along with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao— is among the largest for a single-day sporting event of all time,” the release stated. “Mayweather and Showtime PPV now account for the three highest grossing pay-per-view events in television history with the third-ranked event Mayweather vs. Canelo from 2013.”
Mayweather improved to 50-0 with a 10th round technical knockout of McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. He announced his retirement after the victory, but has since claimed that he has a multi-fight offer to compete in the UFC. McGregor was initially expected to make his UFC return at the end of the year, but negotiations apparently hit a snag, leaving White to question whether the Irishman will ever fight again.