Evander Holyfield's days as a heavyweight champion -- and a major
pay-per-view draw -- are all but behind him.
'The Real Deal' lost his share of the title to John Ruiz during Showtime
Event Television's March 3 PPV event, which failed to draw 200,000 buys.
'We had high hopes for this event, and it didn't materialize,' SET executive
vice president of corporate strategy and communications Mark Greenberg said,
adding that the bout generated around 185,000 buys. Industry executives,
however, placed that figure at around 160,000.
Either number falls well below that of a typical heavyweight PPV event and
well short of expectations for Holyfield. Four of the 10 biggest PPV events ever
were fights featuring the four-time heavyweight champion, including the top two
most lucrative PPV events in history.
But Holyfield was awarded a controversial decision in his first bout with
Ruiz, and the rematch failed to create any buzz among PPV subscribers.
SET was hoping to draw Hispanic viewers by touting Ruiz's chance of becoming
the first Latino world heavyweight champion. Greenberg believes the increased
focus on Ruiz has provided him with more exposure, which will make it easier to
promote him in future fights.
It's unclear, however, whether Ruiz's next fight will appear on PPV.
Greenberg didn't rule out a possible Holyfield-Ruiz III event from China later
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