Floyd Mayweather was widely panned for choosing no-hoper Andre Berto as the opponent for the final bout of his boxing career.
And according a new report, it seems that fans voted with their wallets by refusing to stump up to watch the champion’s 49th and final fight on pay-per-view television.
ESPN’s boxing correspondent Dan Rafael claims that at most just 550,000 people paid the $75 to watch Mayweather v Berto (or $65 for those who only wanted the standard definition instead of HD).
That’s just over a tenth of the 5,000,000 who paid $100 each for the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout in May.
US sports writer Larry Brown has “done the math”, as the Americans say, in an article on his blog.
Even taking the best-case-scenario – as Rafael suggested the 550,000 figure is – by assuming that all those who paid for the fight stumped up for the high-definition version, Brown calculates that the Showtime network will have taken $41 million in total.
Mayweather’s guaranteed payday was $32 million, while Berto’s was $4 million – and “between advertising and other promotional fees” Brown concludes that it’s “not inconceivable to think that Showtime lost money”.
It’s a further insult to tarnish the reputation of Mayweather on his retirement – which had already been hit by the quality of the opponent, the miserably dull nature of the fight and the fact that they couldn’t even give tickets away to high rollers at the MGM Grand.