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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Terence Crawford-Errol Spence Jr. Bout Nets Around 700K PPV Buys

  • The Showtime event couldn't match the company's April Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia fight.
  • The number of buys met expectations of many boxing and PPV insiders.
Spence Crawford Press Conference

Saturday’s Terence Crawford-Errol Spence Jr. pay-per-view bout generated around 700,000 buys, a source with knowledge of the data told Front Office Sports. 

Based purely on skill and the fact both boxers entered the ring in Las Vegas undefeated, there had been hope that the PPV buys could surpass 1 million — like Showtime Boxing’s other much-hyped fight this year. In April, a card that featured Gervonta Davis’ knockout of Ryan Garcia secured around 1.2 million buys. 

But the number of purchases for Saturday’s card — which cost $84.99 — was in line with what many boxing and PPV insiders expected. 

Crawford stopped Spence with a ninth-round TKO to seize the undisputed welterweight title. 

“The stakes and credibility are there, and both [Spence and Crawford] have very healthy fan bases — and both of them have been headliners and are well-known through the sport,” Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza said before the fight. “What we don’t have with this fight is the huge crossover appeal built in.”

Showtime declined comment when reached by FOS on Thursday. The fight will be rebroadcast Saturday (9 p.m. ET) on Showtime.

1M PPVs? The Problem — Spence and Crawford Don’t Have True Hostility.

Can skills alone pay the bills in the Spence vs. Crawford match?
July 28, 2023

Luring in fringe fans of combat sports is key to reaching the million-buys barrier, something that — despite the accomplishments of Crawford and Spence — was a tough task. 

Neither fighter has been known for their promotion skills, which also played a role in the number of purchases. 

“Neither of these fighters really have an ability to — or at least they don’t utilize their ability to — promote beyond their expectancy,” said retired world champ Shawn Porter, who lost to both boxers late in his career. “I think they’re limiting themselves at how much they’ll be able to sell and generate beyond what the contract states.”

There’s also the piracy issue. 

Espinoza told Boxing Scene before the fight that illegal streaming could depress the number of buys by as much as 40%. 

It’s been more than nine years since Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao set a PPV record. Billed as “The Fight of the Century,” it had an estimated 4.6 million buys

Mayweather was also atop the card with the second-most purchased PPV when his 2017 boxing match against the UFC’s Conor McGregor had 4.3 million buys. 

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