850,000 Bought Lewis-Holyfield II
NEW YORK (AP) _ Lennox Lewis’ victory over Evander Holyfield on Saturday night may have been less controversial and more exciting than their first fight, but it didn’t do as well on pay-per-view television.
It was a smash at the box office, however, with the live gate of $16,860,300 setting a record for boxing.
Helped by 4,272 tickets sold at $2,000 each, the fight broke the previous record of $14.3 million for the second Holyfield-Mike Tyson fight on June 28, 1997. A total of 17,078 tickets were sold for the fight at the UNLV campus arena.
While live gate sales were boosted by casino buys, only 850,000 purchased the fight on TVKO, HBO’s pay-per-view arm, compared to 1.2 million buys for the first bout in March.
The rematch didn’t crack the top 10 in pay-per-view figures. Holyfield’s rematch with Tyson posted an all-time high with 1.99 million buys while their first fight had 1.59 million.
Lewis-Holyfield I is eighth on the list, just behind Felix Trinidad’s victory over Oscar De La Hoya in September, which had 1.25 million buys.