By Jake Donovan
It didn’t turn out to be the record-breaking event that event handlers optimistically anticipated, but Floyd Mayweather once again validated his “Money” nickname with his latest ring return.
Photo Credit: USA Today
The unbeaten former five division world champion and pound-for-pound king cemented his place as the most lucrative one-man show in boxing history. His 10th round knockout of Conor McGregor on August 26 pulled in a live gate of $55,414,865.79 from 13,049 tickets sold at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to figures released Wednesday afternoon by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The final tally falls well short of the all-time record—also owned by Mayweather, whose May ’15 12-round win over Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas generated north of $72 million—but is still a solid number two on the list of biggest live gates in the history of Nevada boxing. In fact, Mayweather has now participated in six of the seven best-selling boxing events in Las Vegas, including five of the final six fights of his storied career.
Fight night attendance was initially announced at 14,623—a figure which, even if accurate, falls well short of the 20,500 seat-capacity that T-Mobile Arena can hold for a boxing event.
According to the breakdown from the NSAC, there were 13,094 tickets sold with 137 seats comped, leaving a gap of roughly 1,500 tickets. The average price for event tickets sold was $4,232, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
The amount of tickets sold is the second lowest among Mayweather’s 12 fights on Nevada’s list of highest grossing events, landing just ahead of his last bout – a 12-round win over Andre Berto in Sept. ’15, of which a $10,062,500 live gate was generated from the 12,947 tickets sold for what at the time was advertised as his last-ever fight.
Mayweather’s last 12 fights are all within the 26 highest grossing boxing events to take place in Las Vegas, including 10 that cracked the $10 million mark. The dozen fights make for more than $258 million in ticket sales, nearly equal to that of the combined total of the 23 remaining events on Nevada’s Top 35 list.
Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) ended a near two-year hiatus from the ring for a one-time return to face McGregor (0-1), a two-division world champion in UFC but whom was making his pro debut. The knockout was his first since a 4th round stoppage of Victor Ortiz in Sept. 11, having scored just three stoppages in his final 15 career fights.
After the fight, the 40-year old future Hall of Famer insisted this event was a one-time break from what he promises to be a permanent retirement. He remains active in the sport, in fact with his Mayweather Promotions serving as the lead for a Showtime boxing telecast this Friday in Las Vegas headlined by a super middleweight title fight between David Benavidez and Ronald Gavril, the latter whom he promotes.
Final Pay-Per-View figures have yet to be released, although Showtime—whom produced and distributed the August 26 event—teased just prior to Labor Day of the show having cracked 4 million units sold. Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president of Showtime Sports hinted that the event could very well wind up breaking the all-time mark of $400 million in PPV revenue from 4.6 million units sold by Mayweather-Pacquiao, although industry sources suggest that it will ultimately fall just short.
Regardless, it winds up no worse than the second-best selling PPV event and live gate of all time, with Mayweather generating upwards of $800 million in PPV sales and more than $127 million in ticket sales—two figures that just about ever other boxer in history can only dream to boast for an entire career.