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Mayweather-Berto drew 550,000 buys, sources say

Andre Berto Floyd Mayweather JrBy Allan Fox: Floyd Mayweather’s decision to fight Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) in his last fight instead of a contender that boxing fans wanted to see him fight may have ultimately cost Mayweather a great deal of money in lost pay-per-view buys.

According to sources from the LA Times and ESPN, the Mayweather-Berto fight drew only 550,000 pay-per-view buys on Showtime PPV last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, The 550,000 makes it the worst selling fight for Mayweather in his six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS.

The fight was a very dull one unless you like mismatches and enjoy seeing Mayweather pick off mediocre fighter with pot shots all night long. Mayweather won the fight by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision, but it was arguably the dullest fight that Mayweather has been involved with in many years. I found the fight much more boring than Mayweather’s fights against Robert Guerrero and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and those were both very boring fights due to Mayweather’s safety first fighting style for those bouts.

Mayweather made $32 million in guaranteed money. Berto received $4 million. The fight will bring in $20 million if the fight brings in only 550,000 PPV buys. But with $36 million being paid out to Mayweather and Berto, it’s hard to see where Showtime came out ahead if the fight only brought in $20 million.

There’s the gate involved as well, but the fight reportedly didn’t sell out. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, this was the worst PPV for Mayweather since his fights against Carlos Baldomir and Arturo Gatti in 2005 and 2006.

It’s unclear how much extra money Mayweather would have made had he picked a good opponent like Gennady Golovkin instead of Berto. But you’ve got to figure that a fight between Mayweather and Golovkin would have brought in well over 1 million PPV buys. So that’s a lot of money that Mayweather won’t get because of his decision to fight Berto instead of someone that the boxing fans wanted to see him fight like Golokvin.

It could be that Mayweather is making the right decision in retiring now rather than fighting on, because it might be that Mayweather lost a lot of fans from his high priced fight against Manny Pacquiao last May. That fight lacked any kind of drama, as neither guy appeared to be putting any real effort into the fight.

A lot of boxing fans were upset with the way that they prices for the PPV and for the tickets were hiked to sky high prices. What was even more disappointing was the lack of interesting fights on the undercard. There was money available to get a great undercard for the fight card, but instead it was an undercard filled with obscure fighters and total mismatches from top to bottom. If Mayweather did choose to fight on next year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see his PPV numbers continue to drop even if he suddenly decided that he wanted to fight a contender.

Mayweather said after the fight that he made $70 million for the Berto fight, but that doesn’t seem like a realistic number if the PPV buys total only 550,000 and generate only $20 million.

“We’re happy with the event as a whole,” Showtime vice president of sports Stephen Espinoza said to the “We had four entertaining fights [on Saturday’s card], we saw the historic moment of Floyd’s retirement. It may not have been the biggest Mayweather event ever, but in my view, anything we did coming off the massive May 2 event was going to feel like a bit of a letdown.”

Mayweather’s fight last Saturday didn’t have to be a huge letdown from the Pacquiao fight. If Mayweather had simply picked Golovkin as his opponent, he likely would have done well over 1 million PPV buys and he would have made a lot more money than he did for the Berto fight. It’s hard to understand for a normal person someone leaving money on the table by not picking the right opponent, especially with Mayweather saying he’s a smart businessman. If he’s truly smart, then should have looked to maximize his income for his final fight by taking on the biggest name possible instead of a name from the past in Berto. I think it was a mistake on Mayweather’s part, and definitely didn’t help his legacy or his pocketbook by taking the easy path for his final fight.

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