After last fighting on HBO, Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto make their return to pay-per-view in what should be the second-best selling fight of 2015. More than a million buys are expected for the PPV event that continues the Mexico-Puerto Rico boxing rivalry.
Saturday’s fight in Las Vegas pits two of the sport’s top stars against each other. Alvarez has just one loss in his career, and Cotto has been absolutely dominant in his last three fights. Because there is so much hype surrounding the bout, fans will pay a lot of money to see it.
HBO is selling the fight on PPV for $59.99 in standard definition and $69.99 in HD. Alvarez last fought on PPV on July 12, 2014, and it cost fans $59.99 to watch him defeat lesser-known Erislandy Lara in HD. Cotto knocked out Sergio Martinez a month earlier for the same price on a PPV that generated an underwhelming 350,000 buys.
But the price might be considered a bargain compared to the biggest fights of the year. Seemingly every casual boxing fan paid the $99.95 it cost to watch Floyd Mayweather defeat Manny Pacquiao on May 2. In September, the price to watch Mayweather vs. Andre Berto was $74.95. The fight generated approximately 400,000 buys, a far cry from the 4.6 million buys Mayweather-Pacquiao did.
Tickets to see the fight in person at the Mandalay Bay Events Center are still available for as much as $2,000 for floor- level seating at Ticketmaster. The cheapest seats, which were priced at $150, are sold out.
On the secondary ticket market, fans can buy tickets for as low as $500 each at StubHub, though they are being sold for well above face value. The cheapest available tickets at Ticketmaster cost $1,250.
While most fans care about the main event, buying the PPV or a ticket allows fans to watch a few hours of boxing. Fans in attendance will be able to see several fights, and four bouts will be broadcast on PPV.
The undercard is highlighted by the WBC super featherweight championship fight between Takashi Miura and Francisco Vargas. Miura has defended the belt successfully four straight times, improving his career record to 29-2-2. Vargas is favored to take the belt, having never lost in 23 career fights.
Andre Ward was supposed to fight on the undercard, but a knee injury has forced him to withdraw from his bout against Alexander Brand. But Ward has been replaced with another one of boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighters. The undefeated Guillermo Rigondeaux will face Drian Francisco in a 10-round bantamweight fight.
Jayson Velez and Ronny Rios are also on the undercard in a 10-round featherweight bout.