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Mayweather-McGregor PPV buys estimated at 4 million

By Jeff Aranow: It looks like the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor mega-fight from last Saturday night won’t be breaking the all-time pay-per-view record of 4.6 million buys set by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

According to Dan Rafael, his industry sources are saying Mayweather-McGregor will bring in slightly more than 4 million buys. Obviously those are still very good numbers for a fight between a Hall of Fame level fighter in Mayweather and a boxing novice in McGregor. Those 2 should be happy that the fans purchased their fight, because it had no bearing on the actual sport. Neither fighter was competing for a world title. It was just a novelty fight for the fun and of course to make money.


UFC president Dana White reportedly said the Mayweather-McGregor fight brought in 6.5 million buys worldwide. That might wind up being true. It’s unclear where White got the information. The fight sold well in the UK, but at a more affordable price than in the U.S. However, it doesn’t look like Mayweather vs. McGregor will break the all-time PPV mark of 4.6 million set by Mayweather and Pacquiao. It’s not all that surprising.

Mayweather has been retired for 2 years from boxing, and he burned a lot of bridges for his boring fight against Pacquiao in 2015 and his equally dull match after that against Andre Berto. Those two fights were horrible to watch. When you compare the entertaining fighters that compete today like Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez, Mayweather’s last 2 fights going into the McGregor event were horribly boring fights.

Some of the fans might have been turned off from buying Mayweather-McGregor for the reason. Another reason, of course, is the fans knew it was going to be a mismatch between Mayweather and McGregor. Everyone one was saying it for months how McGregor had no chance of winning the fight. That turned out to be true, even though the fight did wind up being competitive for the first 4 rounds before Mayweather go serious and began to walk McGregor down. Mayweather eventually stopped McGregor in round 10 in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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No official numbers yet but my industry sources said it will not break the record,” said Rafael on his chat on Friday at espn.com. ”It may be slightly over 4M but it won’t break the record they say. We’ll have to wait and see. 6.5M might be the worldwide PPV total, but not the US total which is what is always discussed here.”

McGregor, 29, ended up receiving tons of accolades from boxing and MMA fans for him giving Mayweather a difficult time in the early going. What’s lost in all this praise was how Mayweather appeared to be carrying the UFC star McGregor by fighting at snail’s pace, not throwing punches and just letting him stay in the fight.

Mayweather was fighting in slow motion instead of his normal style. It looked to me like Mayweather was taking it easy on Conor in order to make the fight competitive and not anger the fans that had paid to see the event.

“Mayweather-McGregor was what you’d expect,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said to RingTV.com. ”Floyd carried him for a few rounds and took him out whenever he could. Look, I know boxing and I know McGregor is a great personality, and he may be a great MMA guy, but he doesn’t know how to box. His stance is all wrong. I have 50 welterweights that I could put in with him and he could pick any of the 50 and he would knock (McGregor) out within 10 rounds. He can’t fight, for Christ’s sake! He doesn’t know how to throw a punch!”

Arum is being kind here. He could have mentioned that he has fighters at featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight that would have all beaten McGregor too. Arum has these fighters as part of his Top Rank stable: Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford, Oscar Valdez, and Felix Verdejo. All of them would have had an excellent chance of beating McGregor.

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It doesn’t matter that all of them are much smaller than McGregor. They know how to fight, and they would have worn him down just like Mayweather did, but they would have likely done it much faster unless they were carrying him the way that Mayweather appeared to be doing.

“I wasn’t entertained because I knew what was happening,” said Arum about the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight. ”I know Floyd. Floyd’s job was to play around for a few rounds and then go forward with the guy because Floyd never goes forward. He started landing his punches; the guy had no answer and Floyd knocked him out.”

Floyd waited until round 5 to start to come forward slowly, hitting McGregor with single shots, and controlling the rounds. Even then, Mayweather looked like he was just coasting, and not going all out. If you’d never seen Mayweather fight before, then you might think that’s how he always fights and not suspect that he was carrying McGregor.

I’ve seen Mayweather fight many times, and he looked like he keeping McGregor in the fight on purpose to make it look competitive. Arum used to promote Mayweather, so he knows full well what he talks about when he says Mayweather was carrying McGregor. With all the boxing and MMA fans paying $100 to watch the fight on Showtime PPV, it’s not all that surprising that Mayweather kept McGregor in the fight long enough to make it interesting for those fans.

If Mayweather had unloaded on McGregor from the 1st round, the fans would have been furious at seeing the fight end so quickly. They would have realized that they were ripped off in ordering the fight, But Mayweather kept McGregor in there long enough to please some of the fans by giving the fight the appearance of it being a competitive affair, which it wasn’t really.

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“You can’t blame Floyd,” Arum said. “He went in, took the money; he never made any secrets about that it wasn’t a competitive match or that he was to win the fight…McGregor didn’t even land a punch that was anywhere close to Mayweather. It is what it is.”

Mayweather could still end up making over $300 million for the McGregor fight even if it doesn’t break the PPV record. With the worldwide PPV numbers being strong, Mayweather should be able to equal the money he made in the Pacquiao fight, which was $300 million. McGregor will get $100 million.

As Rafael pointed out, it’s going to be tough on the UFC when McGregor returns to the sport and starts negotiating for the money he makes in his next. According to Rafael, the biggest payday McGregor has received in the UFC is $3 million, which is crazy in low that figure is given that his last 4 fights have brought in well over 1 million PPV buys. You have to ask if McGregor’s biggest payday in the UFC was only $3 million, then where is the rest of the money going? Is it being distributed among the fighters equally? McGregor will likely drive a hard bargain in negotiating with the UFC. With McGregor’s pay check for the Mayweather fight being $100 million, it’s going to be hard for him to go back to receiving far less money fighting in the UFC unless they bump up his pay.




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