By Allan Fox: Yahoo Sports writer Kevin Iole is reporting that last Saturday’s fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Andre Berto sold only 400,000 PPV buys on Showtime PPV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There are other reports that the Mayweather-Berto fight brought in 550,000 PPV buys. But Iole’s source is saying that the number is only in the neighborhood of 400K. Unfortunately for the boxing fans, we’ll probably never know the real numbers. In the past there’s been silence and secrecy for some fights where the numbers were rumored to be poor.
I think this very well could be one of those fights where there is never an official announcement about the final PPV numbers. What’s interesting is that there was a rush to announce the Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view and Mayweather vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez PPV numbers because they were both so good. But in this case, we might not ever know for sure what the Mayweather-Berto PPV numbers are.
The good news is that even if the numbers for the Mayweather vs. Berto fight do bring in only 400,000 PPV buys, they’ll still be better than the 325,000 PPV buys that the Mayweather vs. Carlos Baldomir fight brought in nine years ago on HBO pay per view in 2006. But that was when Mayweather was first starting out in the PPV business, so it’s not surprising that his numbers weren’t good back them. He was also facing a less than thrilling opponent in Baldomir, who the American fans weren’t entirely familiar with.
According to Kevin Iole, Showtime vice president of sports Stephen Espinoza doesn’t plan on releasing the final pay-per-view numbers.
Mayweather-Berto fight had the bad luck of coming off the disastrous fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd of this year, a fight that many boxing fans felt was a total rip off due to the lack of action from both fighters, and the high price for the fight on PPV and tickets for the fight. It very expensive dud to say the least, and Mayweather made things worse for himself by picking Andre Berto, a fighter that few fans were interested in seeing.
“At the end of the day, given what we’ve accomplished, we’re essentially competing against ourselves with this,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said via sports.yaoo.com. “There’s no one else at this level, so we’re just competing against ourselves.”
That’s sounds nice, but that doesn’t explain why Mayweather selected such a poor opponent to begin with in Berto. It was a really poor business decision by Mayweather because few people wanted to see him fight the 32-year-old Berto. Mayweather likely lost out on a massive amount of PPV buys by selecting Berto instead of someone like Gennady Golovkin, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman.
Regardless of what the pay-per-view numbers end up being, Showtime is still pleased with the overall pay-per-view numbers that Mayweather brought in for his six fights on Showtime, because two of his fights against Pacquiao and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez brought in a lot buys.
Gary Russell Jr. to fight on October 24th
WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. (26-1, 15 KOs) will be defending his WBC 126lb title next month on October 24th against an opponent still to be determined on Showtime Boxing in Southern California, according to Dan Rafael. Showtime vice president of Sports Stephen Espinoza isn’t spilling his guts about who the opponent will be, but hopefully it’ll be a big name. Russell Jr. is coming off of a 4th round stoppage win over former WBC champion Jhonny Gonzalez last March in a one-sided contest.
Russell Jr. was beaten by Vasyl Lomachenko a year ago in June 2014 in a failed attempt to win the vacant World Boxing Organization featherweight title.
Cotto vs. Canelo undercard taking shape
WBC super featherweight champion Takashi Miura will be defending his title against Francisco Vargas on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight on November 21st on HBO pay-per-view at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also on the card will be IBF bantamweight champion Randy Caballero defending his title against Britain’s Lee Haskins.
The undercard still needs at least one or two more solid fights to help attract interest in the fight.