By Sean Crose
Tom Loeffler, K2 Promotions’ honcho, has told ESPN.com that last Saturday’s Gennady Golovkin-David Lemieux card only did around 150,000 pay per view buys. After essentially being informed that 200,000 buys would constitute a success, the public can now rightfully call the PPV debut of GGG a failure. With that in mind, however, the bout was a huge success as far as the live gate went, as it sold out Madison Square Garden and a whole lot of merchandise was moved, as well.
What’s more, it’s being reported by TMZ that Golovkin is now a hot property as far as Madison Avenue is concerned. In other words, he may become the face of boxing in spite of last week’s poor pay per view buy rate. Why? Because he might be endorsing products worldwide. Speaking strictly in a business sense, that sort of thing brings about a lot of consumer awareness.
Still, it’s clear Golovkin, his promotional outfit – K2 – and HBO, which broadcast the card, hoped for far bigger numbers to come out of last weekend’s fight. Indeed, there might be a bit of head scratching going on for the next few days.
The truth, however, is rather simple. Golovkin either wasn’t popular enough to be a pay per view draw, the matchup with Lemiuex (who no one really thought would win) wasn’t considered competitive enough, or people are simply tiring of pay per view boxing broadcasts after the circus that was May 2nd. The November Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto middleweight PPV card may actually make things more clear in that regard.
For, although pretty much anyone who follows boxing knows it was always going to bring down more buys that GGG-Lemiuex ever would, the Canelo-Cotto bout may still prove to be a disappointment. If, for instance, Canelo-Cotto were to earn around the same amount of buys (350K) the Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez bout did last year, it might be enough to raise some eyebrows.
As for GGG, even though the numbers for last week’s card were clearly disappointing, it is far too soon to write him off as a future top attraction. Golovkin’s initial foray into PPV broadcasting may not have been a smashing success – but it was still his initial foray. And being a very fit thirty three years old, the man still has plenty of time to retake lost ground.