Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero was certainly a major event in the sports landscape. Media coverage and general interest (through metrics like web traffic..etc) certainly bear that out.
But what it might not have been was a major financial success. ESPN's Dan Rafael tweeted the following:
No official PPV #'s yet for Floyd but 2 industry sources tell me they look bad (under 1M). We'll see. If true, heavy $$ losses for Showtime.— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 7, 2013
Yahoo's Kevin Iole backed that up, tweeting back that he had heard it was "well under" one million buys.
Now, "well under" could mean any number of things, but given that Mayweather's Showtime deal is paying him ridiculous amounts of money, not taking a loss required more "well over" than "well under." I'll speculate that "well under" means 750-800,000 buys.
Let's bullet point some of the facts here:
- First of all, if you're an MMA fan who gets off on such lame things, don't bother going into the "it was a bad fight, what do you expect from boxing?" thing to try and diminish boxing. Guerrero was a legitimate challenger, Floyd was a sizable favorite because he's better at boxing than anyone else on the planet. And don't forget that the UFC just recently gave us Chael Sonnen against Jon Jones (and Guerrero was a more compelling fight for Floyd than Bigfoot is for a second Velasquez fight). So, don't turn this into a lame MMA vs. Boxing thing.
- Like Clottey vs. Pacquiao, they just never established any real buzz for the fight. Guerrero was a good fighter who they mostly sold by having him and his wife tour media outlets and talk about Casey's triumph over leukemia. That's a great story and all, but who shells out $70 for a high def PPV if that's the selling point for the challenger (yes, he came in as "the champion" but get real).
- The good news is -- and call me an optimist -- maybe this sort of shames Floyd into feeling like he needs a major selling fight next time out. Danny Garcia is a very good 140 pound fighter, but get real on that selling much better than Guerrero. Amir Khan isn't a real threat and I have my doubts about how well that would sell. But Canelo Alvarez is out there, waiting and wanting the fight, which may well be the biggest potential fight in the sport. And both men want that September date.
Hey, a guy can dream, right?