MANILA, Philippines – The 12-round welterweight clash between unbeaten American superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero reportedly did not do well at the box office.
The bout, which Mayweather won via unanimous decision, underperformed in terms of pay-per-view (PPV) buys, according to ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael and Yahoo! Sports columnist Kevin Iole.
On his Twitter account, Rafael said that while there were no official PPV numbers yet, “two industry sources tell me they look bad – under one million.”
“We’ll see,” he added. “If true, heavy $$ losses for Showtime.”
Showtime signed Mayweather for a lucrative six-fight, 30-month deal, the first of which was the Guerrero bout.
“If Mayweather PPV indeed does under 1M, that will mean heavy $$ losses for Showtime. My sources tell me breakeven was about 1.1 or 1.2M buys,” Rafael said.
Iole, in a reply to Rafael, said he has heard that the PPV buys were “well under 1M,” and later told another follower that the buys were projected to be “850-875 (thousand) max.”
Rafael noted that Mayweather did very little promotion for the bout, despite the increased coverage that Showtime did for the event.
“Floyd, whose money was guaranteed, did very little media…. A terrible Final Four interview does not a promotion make,” Rafael tweeted, referring to Mayweather’s appearance at the halftime of an NCAA Final Four game.
Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December also had an impact on the Mayweather-Guerrero bout, said Rafael.
“Pacquiao’s loss hurt it. Make no mistake. Without specter of Mayweather-Pacquaio, (there was) less interest,” he said.
In an interview with The Sweet Science, Showtime boxing head Stephen Espinoza said they “don’t have enough information to estimate meaningfully.”
“We have partial numbers, in far less than half the total market. I’m not prepared to project,” he said. “All of this speculation and doom and gloom is premature. It’s ridiculous.”
Espinoza stressed that they were happy with the event, which was called “May Day.”
“I’m happy with the programming, how the company as a whole activated all platforms, happy with the event itself, happy with the fights we gave to those who bought the pay-per-view,” he said.
“We’re happy with the result, and we’re pleased with the numbers we’ve seen so far,” Espinoza added.
Mayweather was the highest paid athlete in the world in 2012 and his matches have typically done well on pay-per-view, beginning from his May 2007 super-fight against Oscar De La Hoya.
That bout set a record with 2.4 million pay-per-view buys. Since then, only Mayweather’s December 2007 bout against Ricky Hatton had done under one million buys; the Hatton bout generated 920,000 PPV buys.
Mayweather will return to the ring in September in the second fight of his Showtime deal.