Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought Robert Guerrero this past weekend in a fight that went exactly the way most expected it would. The undefeated champion stifled his opponent with perfectly-timed counters, surprising quickness and pinpoint accuracy.
Some have suggested that, if not for a busted hand, Mayweather may have finished his foe early – but that’s unlikely. If you subtract his sucker punch victory over Victor Ortiz from the equation, Mayweather hasn’t recorded a stoppage win of any sort since 2007.
In the end, though, everyone got what they anticipated they would get out of the match. Except for Showtime. Maybe.
The network recently inked Mayweather to a massive long-term deal under the assumption that he would continue to bring in monster PPV totals, as he has done continuously and without interruption for many years. Unfortunately, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN and Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, that streak may have been broken this past weekend.
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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
@danrafaelespn Well under 1m I've heard
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) May 7, 2013
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If that’s true, and if Mayweather failed to meet the $1 million buys threshold, that’s bad news for everyone. It sucks for Showtime, who made a pretty hefty financial investment. It sucks for Mayweather, because that ‘Money’ moniker is heavily contingent on, you know, him bringing in money. And it sucks for boxing, because, aside from Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather is really the sport’s lone remaining draw.
For the purpose of this discussion, let’s assume that Rafael’s and Iole’s sources are correct. If Mayweather brought in a disappointing PPV total, it’s not the end of the world – it’s just a sign that all involved need to revamp their strategy.
Mayweather needs to go back to being the villain, not the thoughtful ambassador he was in the lead-up to this fight. He built his entire career on being a boring boxer (to mainstream fans) playing an especially intriguing character – take that away and he’s just a boring boxer. Beyond that, he also needs better opponents. And there is no better opponent for him right now than Pacquiao.
Pacquiao doesn’t pose as much of a threat to Mayweather as he once did, so there’s no reason for the latter to worry about his undefeated mark. He’s also willing to work for (relatively) cheap, as he made clear during negotiations with Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. Most importantly, though, this deal would get Bob Arum’s backing. At this stage in the game, the Top Rank boss is going to try to milk whatever he can out of his biggest brand name – and a super fight would do just that.
Can anyone definitively say that this thing will happen? Of course not. But there’s a very good chance that it will.