30.06.05 – By Michael Montero – The highly anticipated match between Arturo “Thunder” Gatti and “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather last Saturday (June 25th) in Atlantic City, NJ was a success. The bout generated 340,000 buys (in the states) and $15.3 million in gross revenue, HBO announced Wednesday. Of the 340,000 buys – 225,000 were from cable systems and 115,000 were from satellite homes (according to HBO, who will replay the fight on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT).
With such a success in his first PPV outing, expect to see Mayweather there again very soon (as soon as November 12th according to his promoter, Bob Arum). The question still remains though if Pretty Boy Floyd can pull the numbers himself. I don’t think it’s even being argued that Gatti is the man who put the butts in the seats in Atlantic City, and generated a lot of the PPV buys from his loyal legion of fans (although Mayweather’s trash talking sparked a lot of interest).
But has Floyd finally earned the mainstream’s respect, and a few fans in the process, after such a dominating performance? For the record this writer thinks a unification match with Ricky Hatton, or a title fight with Antonio Margarito at 147, would both be big time successes. Although I think Mayweather-Hatton would do bigger PPV numbers.
As for Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, he plans to move up to welterweight. He’s had trouble making weight lately (140) so moving up would help make camp go a lot smoother – but boy does he need some defensive work. Expect him to seek out a welterweight with a recognizable name, but never the less past their prime (I’m thinking Vince Phillips or somebody of the like). Even after the embarrassing loss he just suffered, he knows his fans will be there (as will HBO) and he can still put butts in the seats.
We were told by the experts that Gatti-Mayweather was a mismatch all along. We all knew in the back of our minds that Pretty Boy Floyd would probably dominate Thunder Gatti – but there was always that chance for Arturo. There was the chance for that perfect punch, that magic upset that us fans have seen so many times, so we opened up our wallets and watched. Just goes to show you how unique, and special, the sport of boxing is. There’s always that mystic – you never know what’s going to happen until those two warriors step inside the squared circle – and so you have to watch. Well, except for John Ruiz fights, we can miss those. . .
Michael Montero – firstname.lastname@example.org