By Tim Nielson: Bernard Hopkins believes that the upcoming fight between WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) will be a bigger one than the May 2nd “Fight of the Century” bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight brought in 4.4 million buys on HBO/Showtime pay-per-view. The Cotto vs. Canelo fight will be taking place on November 21st on HBO PPV from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If the Cotto-Canelo fight is going to be bigger than the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, then the hype is going to need to start pretty soon, because it doesn’t seem there’s a great deal of hype about the fight in the boxing forums on the internet. If you compare the great deal of interest that was there for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight ahead of time and compare to the interest in the Canelo-Cotto fight, it’s not comparable.
Part of the reason why it’s going to be difficult for the Cotto-Canelo fight to do as well as the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is the fact that Canelo and Cotto aren’t crossover stars like Mayweather and Pacquiao. Canelo is mostly popular with his built in fan base, and the same with Cotto. Neither has made great strides over the years in building a fan base outside of their original fan base.
“This fight [Cotto-Canelo] is just as big, take the money to the side, as the fight in May [between Mayweather and Pacquiao], because people are expecting to get their money’s worth,” Hopkins said to the media. That’s the key. People want to get what they paid for. This has the surface of a war. October’s going to be a war. Lemieux, right? Triple G. You got Canelo and Cotto, and you don’t have to wait and digest it and talk about it and forget. You have the chance to come right back and see something special. When was the last time we had three major fights in boxing. And two major fights before the year end,” Hopkins said.
I think it’s more wishful thinking on Hopkins’ part in thinking that the Cotto-Canelo fight will be bigger than the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. I hope Hopkins isn’t counting on there being a huge number of PPV buys for the Cotto-Canelo fight, because I think he’s going to be sadly disappointed when the fight fails to generate even 1 million buys. I don’t see the Cotto-Canelo fight bringing in more than 600,000 PPV buys tops. Those are good numbers, but obviously they’re not in the same league as guys like Mayweather and Pacquiao.