Boxing Rakes In Dollars From "The Gambling Demo"
oxing may no longer be the big draw it once was on broadcast television, but on pay-per-view TV, it remains a big moneymaker. For proof of that observation, look no further than last weekend's telecast of the Floyd Mayweather-Saul Canelo Alvarez championship fight on the CBS-owned Showtime channel. Some 2.2 million viewers paid to watch the fight -- a relatively small number compared with the broadcast networks' audiences -- but they plunked down an estimated $150 million -- $74.95 per household -- topping the $136 million that the Mayweather/Oscar De La Hoya match brought in six year ago. Ringside seats at the MGM Grand Hotel reportedly had been grabbed by celebrities paying as much as $29,000, and the gate at the hotel reportedly came to around $20 million. Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's manager, acknowledged before the fight that while boxing has become a niche sport his clients earnings for the year will total at least $73 million. The highest-paid athlete in the world is a boxer, he said.