Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC champion Conor McGregor will step into the ring for a 12-round super welterweight boxing bout this Saturday and what promises to be an event the likes of which comes around almost as rarely as a total solar eclipse.
The matchup, which will take place at the 20,000 seat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, has the potential to be one of if not the top-grossing combat sport cards in history. Estimates range from a more conservative $300 million all the way up to $1 billion, factoring in domestic and international pay-per-view (PPV) sales, merchandise, and ticket sales. For those wishing to attend in person, the cheapest tickets currently available on StubHub are going for over $1,200.
“There’s never been an event like it before and there may never be one like it again,” former HBO PPV head Mark Taffet told Variety. “When you look at these type of events, they’re more than just sporting events. They’re true entertainment spectacles. This has all the characteristics of a great spectacle where people can get together in large numbers and watch together like a Super Bowl party.”
Mayweather knows a thing or two about big spectacles, considering he has been part of multiple record-setting pay-per-views in his career. Mayweather helped set new standards in the pay-per-view buys arena with his fights against “Canelo” Álvarez in 2013 (2.2 million buys) and Oscar de la Hoya in 2007 (2.4 million buys). But both of those paled in comparison to Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao in 2015. When all was said and done, that fight did an astounding 4.6 million buys, generating approximately $400 million in domestic revenue. For his part, McGregor has been part of some of the biggest UFC pay-per-views as well, with his rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 202 drawing 1.65 million buys in August 2016.
Fans can shell out $99 to watch Saturday’s fight on Showtime PPV in HD, or $89 for standard definition. It will also be on multiple digital platforms, with CBS and UFC making the fight available on their streaming services for the same price as PPV in a major boost for digital viewership of live sporting events.