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Mayweather In Spotlight With Saturday's Fight Against Marquez

Saturday's Fight A Big
Opportunity For Mayweather
Saturday's Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez fight is Mayweather's "first opportunity to step out onto the big stage with a show that is truly his own," according to Tim Smith of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Mayweather will "prove whether he has the goods to become the next big thing in the sport or whether he will always need another big-name fighter to make a splash," and he has a "lot of people in the boxing industry pulling for him, because there is no one in the pipeline remotely close to being a star." Meanwhile, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) CEO Richard Schaefer said that "based on early projections, Mayweather-Marquez can do a million Pay-Per-View buys." Smith notes those are "bold projections, considering this is the first Pay-Per-View show in which Mayweather is the sole star." Retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya said that Mayweather "certainly has all the qualities to replace him as the Pay-Per-View king, but he thinks he will have to be more spectacular in the ring" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/18).

READY FOR THE SPOTLIGHT? USA TODAY's J. Michael Falgoust notes Mayweather "hadn't exceeded" 375,000 PPV buys prior to fighting De La Hoya in May '07. That fight earned 2.4 million PPV buys, making it the "greatest draw in PPV history." Still, Mayweather said, "I feel like I always was a pay-per-view star." Marquez "has only headlined a PPV card once, a 2008 decision loss to Manny Pacquiao that drew 405,000 buys" (USA TODAY, 9/18). Schaefer predicted that the bout will be the "most lucrative pay-per-view fight of the year, exceeding the 850,000 buys" of Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton in May. In L.A., Lance Pugmire notes GBP has worked "feverishly to sell the bout, scheduling 11 consecutive days of media events to spread word about the fight in addition to the promoter-paid" HBO "Mayweather-Marquez 24/7" series. Meanwhile, the "cheapest $150 seats that usually sell out within hours in major bouts remained on sale Monday for Mayweather-Marquez," but Schaefer said that he "expects a live gate in excess" of $6M (L.A. TIMES, 9/18). In Las Vegas, Andy Samuelson notes UFC 103 also will air on PPV Saturday, and UFC President Dana White "scoffed at the idea" of Mayweather-Marquez outperforming the MMA event "in terms of pay-per-view buys." White: "I heard that thing wasn't selling (expletive). You better believe if there are fans in there, they're all gonna be Mexican. All gonna be people supporting Marquez not Floyd" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 9/18).

Writer Says Saturday's Card Could
Signal Start of Positive Shift For Boxing
UNDERCARDS BOUNCING BACK? USA TODAY's Falgoust wrote Saturday's card, headlined by Mayweather-Marquez, "could signal the start of a positive shift" for boxing "if the TV portion of the undercard is any indication." The undercards "have become a dumping ground, used to build prospects' records." But HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg said, "That's going to change, given the economy and there are fewer dates for superstar fighters on networks." Falgoust wrote Saturday's undercard featuring Chris John-Rocky Juarez and Michael Katsidis-Vicente Escobedo "still might pale in comparison to the golden age of PPV undercards of the 1990s" (USA TODAY, 9/16). Meanwhile,'s Josh Gross wrote the UFC 103 card "highlights the many differences between how boxing and MMA are packaged and sold." Star power and personalities "have long been enough to push boxing's pay-per-view success," and while the Mayweather-Marquez card "actually attempts to deliver depth with an interesting undercard, it differs from mixed martial arts, which has a tradition of stacking events from the bottom up." UFC will broadcast part of the undercard on Spike beginning at 9:00pm ET ahead of the 10:00pm PPV, and Gross wrote "you can bet" UFC parent company Zuffa "will throw as many fights as it can on the TV broadcast (including two live on Spike TV) to entice people to stay away from its fistic cousin" (, 9/17).

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