Boxing vs MMA: The Numbers Game—Who is Really Getting KO'ed?

Tony MontanaContributor INovember 11, 2008

What we get told often is boxing is dying being drowned out by MMA. We get articles posted daily full of opinions without any facts, so I have decided to confront this debate head on with facts.

I will compare PPV numbers from 2007 of the biggest fights in the Western Hemisphere and the UFC PPV numbers alike and we can finally get to the truth.

I will start with the UFC first:

UFC 67 - Silva v. Lutter - 400,000
UFC 68 - Slyvia v. Couture - 540,000
UFC 69 - St. Pierre v. Serra - 400,000
UFC 71 - Liddell v. Jackson II - 675,000
UFC 72 - Franklin v. Okami - 200,000
UFC 73 - Ortiz v. Evans - 425,000
UFC 74 - Couture v. Gonzaga - 520,000
UFC 76 - Liddell v. Jardine - 475,000
UFC 77 - Franklin v. Silva II - 325,000
UFC 78 - Evans v. Bisbing - 325,000
UFC 79 - Liddell v. Silva - 600,000

UFC 70 and UFC 75 were Spike events so those are exempt from the list.

2007 PPV numbers for UFC measure in at 4,885,000. Not far from five million.

Boxing is a lot harder to measure, since there are so many big fights taking place all over the planet, so instead of mentioning every big bout in the world, I'm going to mention just enough bouts to eclipse the UFC numbers.

I may end up missing a dozen or so big fights, or maybe even 60 to 70% of the big sellers, but I'm not chronicling all the big fights, just enough to put boxing ahead of the UFC since we are trying to work out who is winning the PPV game.

Now onto 2007 calendar year for boxing:

Pacman vs Barrera - 350,000
Cotto vs Mosley - 400,000
Mayweather vs De La Hoya - 2,500,000
Mayweather vs Hatton - 1,500,000
Cotto vs Judah - 225,000

Only 5 fights edging out an entire year of UFC PPV's. All together that weighs in at 4,975,000

Again I KNOW I missed a lot of big fights, HBO had seven big events on their own, not to mention huge boxing events like Mayorga vs Vargas and Calzaghe vs Kessler. But again I am not chronicling all events just enough to make my point, so please don't comment on it, I know their huge fights but their not included I have made my point and that is that.

With around 15 to 20 big boxing events a year it only takes five to make more than an entire calendar year of UFC events.

Last year was a record breaking year for boxing with the biggest PPV numbers, the highest revenue, the biggest amount ever made for a boxer in a single fight, the biggest amount of PPV numbers sold by one fighter in a year. Simply put boxing has never had a more successful year than last year more records were broken in 2007 than in any other year.

Boxing made history last year in it's overwhelming success but it doesnt stop there, this year that record is already close to being broken, with the two biggest fights of the year yet to come including another world record breaking bout purported to sell over 2.5 million PPV's.

The good stuff doesn't stop here either though, next year there are proposals in place for a fight that would break the world record for the biggest live gate at the Wembley stadium with upto 100 thousand people packing into the stadium. That would be the biggest fight in England and Europe. There is also another proposal for a historic fight in Wales with Calzaghe and there is a possibility the world record for PPV sales could be broken again.. three years in a row.

Not only is boxing not dying it is so ahead of the competition and more successful than it has ever been in at any point in its 100+ year history. It only takes a few big bouts of boxing on a yearly basis to drown the entire calendar year of UFC events and with superstars like Hatton, Calzaghe and Pacquaio all developing into multi million selling artists and with the possibility of Mayweather returning to the ring we are talking about the height of boxing right now.

Mayweather last year alone sold four million PPV's, one fighter sells nearly as much as the entire UFC in a whole year? I think this one is a wrap up, the UFC is not even coming close to Boxing numbers it only takes a few big megafights a year to drown the UFC PPV numbers. Boxing has never been this popular, the PPV numbers have never been this high and the sport has more multi million PPV sellers right now than any point in its history.

They say an opinion is like an asshole, everybody has one and it usually stinks and I agree with that sentiment so I challenge the detractors to argue with the numbers and leave their flavour of logic out of it.