The one feather in Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s cap over the last few years was that he could call himself a massive draw.
Sure, he may not be liked – but people still pay to see him. Yes, he may have a very boring, dreary fighting style – but folks still buy his pay-per-views (PPV).
As it turns out, that may no longer be the case.
In a recent piece, David Mayo of MLive.com noted that both HBO and Mayweather’s camp have been eerily silent on how many buys there were for the undefeated superstar’s four-round knockout of Victor Ortiz. That the fighter who generally loudly boasts about his PPV accomplishments after the fact, hasn’t uttered a peep even though the numbers were in a long time ago.
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The silence is sparking speculation that perhaps Mayweather’s bout didn’t live up to expectations.
Generally speaking, about a week after any big time match, the companies behind the scenes release data to publicize just how well it sold. It’s good advertisement for all involved and it allows the headlining fighter involved to bask in the glory of being a major draw.
That, obviously, leads to more lucrative fight deals in the future.
Only this time, there was no big announcement.
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Because nobody released the PPV figures, all we’re left to work with from Mayweather vs. Ortiz is live ticket sales – which weren’t pretty this time around. The fight reportedly did $9 million in live ticket sales, a total that didn’t live up to what many predicted.
Mayweather now finds himself in a very precarious situation. Best case scenario, fans didn’t purchase the PPV because his opponent, Ortiz, was an unknown. That means that Mayweather alone isn’t a big enough draw to generate big time buys unless he’s fighting someone with at least a bit of name recognition anymore. That’s the best case scerario for the undefeated champ.
Worst case scenario, Mayweather’s insistence on being a public nuisance has manifested itself into folks purposely avoiding (read: boycotting) his fights. That his perceived ducking of Manny Pacquiao coupled with his uninteresting fighting style and combined with his bad attitude have officially made him irrelevant.
The whole thing is a lose-lose situation, really.
Is there an anecdote for Mayweather’s dilemma? Absolutely.
He needs to have his people -- not 50 Cent, his boxing people -- contact Pacquiao’s people, and get a fight set up. If Pacquiao refuses to “take the test,” Mayweather has to grin and bear it. If Pacquiao wants a bigger purse, Mayweather has to grin and bear it. If Pacquiao wants him to come to the ring to the tune of Philippine national anthem, Pacquiao has to grin and bear it.
The only way to turn things around is by fighting and beating Pacquiao. If Mayweather can do that, then he can go back to writing his own boxing rules.
Will Mayweather actually do all that?