Not Golden, But Lucrative

The Oscar De La Hoya-Bernard Hopkins middleweight-championship bout didn’t break pay-per-view records, but it made good money.

There were more than 1 million buys for the Sept. 18 fight, in which Hopkins retained his middleweight crown with a ninth-round knockout, according to Home Box Office senior vice president of sports operations Mark Taffet.

At $54.95 or more per buy, the HBO Pay-Per-View event drew $56 million in PPV revenue. For non-heavyweight events, that trailed only De La Hoya’s 1999 loss to Felix Trinidad, which notched 1.4 million buys and $71 million in revenue.

“Bernard Hopkins got his universal recognition as the best middleweight of our era, while Oscar De La Hoya showed the heart of a great six-division champion,” Taffet said. “In the process, the boxing public made it the second-highest-grossing non-heavyweight fight in PPV history.”

In losing, de la Hoya might have squandered his “Golden Boy” status as PPV’s top boxing draw. But Taffet thinks De La Hoya could still stage popular PPV rematches against Trinidad or “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Hopkins could move up to light-heavyweight rank and attempt to avenge a loss to former champion Roy Jones Jr., said Taffet, or fight Antonio Tarver, who knocked out Jones last May.

Due up, HBO PPV has an Oct. 2 Felix Trinidad-Ricardo Mayorga middleweight match and a Nov. 13 Don King-promoted PPV event featuring heavyweight champions Chris Byrd and John Ruiz and former heavyweight champions Hasim Rahman and Evander Holyfield, in separate bouts.

On Nov. 23, there’s the rubber match between Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barerra, and Vitali Klitschko and Danny Williams fight for a heavyweight title on Dec. 11.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.