Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto are each stars proven to sell pay-per-view cards on merely their own name versus nearly anonymous opposition.
On the undercards of their fights are usually three televised pay-per-view undercard fights that are each ignored as much as the main event is anticipated.
Then came May 5, 2012. Mayweather moved up to the junior middleweight (154 pounds) division to face Cotto in a battle of two of the biggest stars of this generation, but that wasn't all.
On the undercard, then-21-year-old rising star and WBC junior middleweight champ Saul Alvarez defended his belt against an aging but still respected and well-known Shane Mosley.
That's four big stars in boxing in two fights on one megacard. That card would go on to become one of the highest purchased pay-per-view events in boxing history with 1.5 million buys.
This past Dec. 8, the fourth superfight between Pacquiao and his longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez went on to sell only 1.15 million buys, according to ESPN.
There were no major stars on the undercard. That's changing during the next Pacquiao fight.
If this trend continues, boxing will give its current pay-per-view records a run for their money and maybe even break them.
Possibilities in September
Mayweather and Alvarez are expected to do battle on Sept. 14 if they win their bouts in May, according to M Live.
Golden Boy Promotions usually handles most of Mayweather's fights, so it's not out of the realm to expect Golden Boy to continue the trend by lending some of their biggest stars to the undercard.
Maybe Amir Khan vs. Danny Garcia II? Maybe Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto II? Both of the original fights were hits with boxing fans on regular HBO.
Holding the highly anticipated rematches on the undercard of Mayweather-Alvarez makes all the sense (cents) in the world.
Speaking of rematches, after the original fight became a hit on pay-per-view last September, Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez plan to do it again on Sept. 14, according to The Ring.
At the same time, Pacquiao-Marquez V is slated to be on Sept. 14, according to Filipino news outlet ABS-CBN.
The connection? Both fights will be promoted by Top Rank. Would Top Rank pit two of its own pay-per-views against one another? No.
That only leaves two possibilities left: Either one fight moves off the lucrative Mexican Independence Weekend date of Sept. 14 or both fights will share the date to compose a surefire blockbuster card.
If Martinez-Chavez II lands on the Pacquiao-Marquez V undercard, fans will rush to the cable box more than willing to order and ready to see an event of a lifetime.
By concocting star-filled pay-per-view cars instead of star-led ones, promoters will generate more buzz for their fight cards.
That buzz will translate into mountains of cash for fighters and the promoters and satisfaction for fans who become repeat customers for the next big event after feeling they've gotten their money's worth.
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