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Oscar De La Hoya: Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz 3 ticket sales are strong

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Interest in a trilogy fight between UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz has driven strong ticket sales for Golden Boy Promotions’ MMA debut, with Oscar De La Hoya estimating The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., being 70 percent sold.

“The price points are perfect for this type of fight, and fans are coming out and supporting it,” De La Hoya on Monday told MMAjunkie. “Everywhere I go, they don’t talk to me about the boxing cards I’m putting on. They talk about Canelo or Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.”

De La Hoya, a retired boxing champion turned promoter, expects the Nov. 24 fight card to be a sellout when walk-ups are included. He also anticipates a strong pay-per-view showing on Fite TV, which he said will benefit the headliners’ bottom lines from the first buy, and the event to be profitable overall.

“And guess what, the profits are going to be for Chuck and Tito,” De La Hoya said. “That’s exactly the way it’s structured. We feel that the gate being 70 percent sold, once you sell out the gate, the pay-per-view numbers are going to be relatively high.

“Every boxing show that I’ve promoted, you have to start with the gate. Once you sell out the gate, the pay-per-view numbers will be higher than expected.”

De La Hoya has made money – specifically how it’s distributed to fighters – a centerpiece of his first foray into MMA. His goal for the event is to give Liddell (21-8) and Ortiz (19-12-1) the biggest paydays of their careers. He’s railed against the pay structure for MMA fighters and has said he wants to compensate athletes fairly.

De La Hoya also had a front row seat at a promotion that paid its athletes extremely handsomely – and went out of business. A co-promoter in the defunct Affliction Entertainment, he ultimately moved away from MMA and focused on his boxing interests.

“You obviously have to run your business,” De La Hoya said. “You don’t want to be in the red. You’re obviously going to be in the red for some shows, which are going to balance out with other shows. But it’s a matter of balance. There’s ways of doing it, and I’ve been able to survive in the boxing industry because I know how to do it.”

Now on the verge of entering a different combat sports industry, De La Hoya remains undecided on his next step as an MMA promoter. He touted Golden Boy’s recent deal with DAZN as a sign of a strong marketplace and added he would approach the streaming service if Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 performs well on pay-per-view.

“Once this fight card takes place, I’m going to have some serious talks with John Skipper,” De La Hoya said, referencing the former ESPN president turned DAZN executive. “If I’m serious about promoting future MMA cards, I’m very positive and certain DAZN will back us 100 percent.

“I want to see how (Nov. 24) turns out. I want to see if the card turns out good. I want to see what the PPV numbers are. I want to see if Chuck and Tito were happy the way I promoted them. And then we’ll take it from there.”

If the rivals wish to extend their comebacks, they’ll need to strike a new deal with Golden Boy. De La Hoya said the profit-sharing contract for the Nov. 24 event is a one-fight deal.

For more on Liddell vs. Ortiz 3, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.



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