Welterweight world titleholder Errol Spence Jr.’s shutout decision over four-division titleholder Mikey Garcia in a meeting of two of boxing’s pound-for-pound best generated more than 360,000 pay-per-view buys, a source with knowledge of the sales told ESPN.
Spence, who retained his title for the third time, easily defeated Garcia, a reigning lightweight titlist who moved up two weight divisions for the fight he campaigned for, on March 16 before a crowd of 47,525 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in the main event of the first-ever Fox Sports pay-per-view card.
The source said the sales figure is likely to move closer to 380,000 with an outside chance to touch 400,000 buys with numbers from cable operators still being tallied. At 360,000 buys, the $75 pay-per-view (and closer to $85 for the high-definition broadcast) grossed at least $27 million domestically.
A Fox Sports spokesman declined to comment and said there would be no official announcement of the pay-per-view total.
That would be considered a home run for the Premier Boxing Champions event, which exceeded the roughly 325,000 buys generated by the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight world title fight on Dec. 1 and would be close to the approximately 400,000 buys generated by the welterweight world title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner on Jan. 19, both of which were PBC events carried by Showtime PPV.
Spence and Garcia were both fighting as pay-per-view headliners for the first time in a heavily promoted bout between unbeaten world titleholders in their prime with each man taking on the best opponent of his career. Garcia was the heavy underdog, however, because of the size difference as he sought to win a world title in a fifth weight division. In the end, Spence, using a combination of his size, physicality and boxing skills, won handily by shutout scores of 120-107, 120-108 and 120-108.
“I feel like it wasn’t difficult at all. I got to credit my coach (Derrick James) with a great game plan,” Spence said after the fight. “I felt insulted throughout the whole training camp where people were saying (Garcia) is smarter than me and a lot of reporters were agreeing with him. Hall of Fame fighters like Sugar Ray Leonard were going for Mikey Garcia. It put a chip on my shoulder and (helped me) do what I did — basically outclass him.”
Spence (25-0, 21 KOs), 29, who fought in front of his home crowd, said after the fight he hoped to return this summer for a title unification fight, with Shawn Porter being a possible opponent and Pacquiao less so. Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), 31, said after the fight he would think about whether he wanted to stay at welterweight and still pursue a title, drop down to junior welterweight, where he won a title in 2018, or return to lightweight, where he still holds a belt.
“I’ll go back and talk to my dad (Eduardo), my brother (and trainer Robert) and make a decision,” Garcia said about what weight class he would return in. “I feel that there are other names I could possibly get a (welterweight) title from and I could still pull it off. We fought the best welterweight, the baddest man in the division. We just couldn’t pull it off.
“I would love a fight with (lightweight champion and pound-for-pound king Vasiliy) Lomachenko but I haven’t made a decision about going back down yet. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Let me figure it out later. Maybe I stay at 147. Maybe I come back to 135. If I do, that fight with Lomachenko is the most interesting. I would love to take on that fight.”