By Allan Fox: Former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) is blaming the poor pay-per-view numbers for his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 23 KOs) last Saturday night squarely on the shoulders of Mayweather. The Mayweather-Berto fight brought in between 400,000 to 550,000 pay-per-view buys, according to sources from Yahoo Sports and ESPN.
Mayweather’s previous fight against Manny Pacquiao brought in 4.4 million PPV buys. However, the fight was a real dud as far as excitement goes, and a lot of boxing fans were turned off by the experience.
The prices for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight were the highest the sport had seen, but the entertainment value was clearly below what many fans were expecting. Berto thinks that the fans were jaded from that experience, and didn’t want to get burned a second time by purchasing the Mayweather-Berto fight on Showtime PPV, especially with it going for $75 on high definition.
Berto received $4 million for the fight. He didn’t get a share of the pay-per-view money, so he wasn’t hurt from the low PPV numbers like Mayweather was. Mayweather received a guaranteed $32 million for the fight plus a cut of the PPV money. But with the PPV buys being reportedly far less than what Mayweather’s fights have been bringing in lately, Mayweather is going to be getting a pay cut for this fight and probably a big one.
“It’s definitely Floyd’s fault, He left a sour taste in everybody’s mouth because of the Pacquiao bomb shell,” Berto said to TMZ.com.
It’s partly both of their faults. A lot of fans didn’t want to see Mayweather fight Berto because they saw him as a fighter who was no longer the guy that he once was five years ago. They looked Berto’s record of 3-3 in his last six fights and decided that he had no chance.
The casual boxing fans likely found out about what a stinker the Mayweather-Berto fight would be ahead of time by word of mouth, because the hardcore fans knew that it was going to be a one-sided mismatch. But a big part of the blame definitely can be put on the shoulders of Mayweather because he didn’t do his part by fighting at a high level against Pacquiao.
Mayweather fought a safety first fight against the Filipino fighter and did the minimum of what he needed to in order to get the victory. With fans shelling out thousands of dollars to purchase tickets to see it live, and $100 to see it on HBO/Showtime PPV, Mayweather had an obligation to fight as hard as he could to entertain the fans. He didn’t do that.
Mayweather ultimately lost fans, and probably quite a few of them. At the same time the fight likely hurt the sport of boxing because a lot of casual fans were turned off by the fight. Many of the fans likel9y rarely purchase boxing PPV events, but they made an exception for this fight. But instead of the fans seeing a great fight, they saw a dull one.
The final insult was that the fans found out afterwards that Pacquiao had come into the fight with a shoulder injury. Those fans likely would have wanted to know ahead of time about Pacquiao’s shoulder injury so that they could have saved their money and used it on other things.
“As you can see they weren’t bulls**ttin,” Berto said about the fans having decided not to purchase the Mayweather-Berto fight due to their bad experiences in paying to see the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. “I knew if he had the chance he would run around and make it boring, but I tried my best to not let that happen and disappoint the people. They deserve excitement.”