Floyd Mayweather Jr., the unbeaten boxer who calls himself “Money,” was not worth much at the box office, his latest opponent, Andre Berto, said on Friday. The September 12 fight between the two fighters is shaping up to be a massive financial flop — and Mayweather has no one to blame for that but himself, the 31-year-old Berto told TMZ Sports.
While Showtime, the network that just completed its six-fight contract with Mayweather and which broadcast the Mayweather vs. Berto bout on its Showtime Pay-Per-View channel, has not released any official sales totals for the broadcast which cost viewers about $75, but various media reports have put the figure at no more than 550,000 “buys.”
In fact, according to ESPN, the number could be as low as 400,000 — a number lower than 10 percent of the announced 4.6 million buys generated by Mayweather’s previous fight against Philippines sensation Manny Pacquiao.
But the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, despite doing boffo box-office business, received overwhelmingly negative reviews from fans who complained that Mayweather’s masterful defensive style and unwillingness to mix it up with the veteran Philippines slugger led to a dull affair in the ring.
That negative reaction carried over into Mayweather’s next fight, Berto believes.
“It’s definitely Floyd’s fault, He left a sour taste in everybody’s mouth because of the Pacquiao bomb shell,” Berto told TMZ Sports.
Berto went on to blast Mayweather for being oblivious to how deeply boxing fans despise his cautious, risk-averse approach in the ring — a loathing that runs so deep that many vowed never to spend money on a Mayweather fight again.
“As you can see they weren’t bulls******g,” Berto said.
The pay-per-view numbers were the lowest for a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight since November of 2006 when his fight with Argentine veteran Carlos Baldomir drew just 375,000 buys for a fight aired by Showtime’s rival, HBO Pay-Per-View network.
While the MGM Grand Garden Arena sold out in less than one minute after tickets went on sale for the May 2 Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, on September 12, the same arena held a crowd of just 13,395, leaving Mayweather and Berto to fight in front of about 2,000 empty seats.
According to calculations by the International Business Times news site, the Mayweather vs. Berto fight may have generated as little as $38 million in revenue. With half of that take distributed to cable providers, and Mayweather claiming a guaranteed purse of $32 million — plus a $4 million guarantee to Berto — the fight would appear to be financial disaster of significant proportions.
Fans who did not buy the pay-per-view broadcast of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Andre Berto fight will have another chance to watch a replay of the action — what little action here was — on the Showtime Extreme network, Tuesday, September 22, at 10 p.m.
[Image: Ethan Miller / Getty Images]