Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s self-described farewell fight against Andre Berto was the worst-selling of his six Showtime pay-per-view bouts, with two industry sources reporting Wednesday that it drew 550,000 buys.
Mayweather improved to 49-0 with the unanimous decision victory over the former welterweight champion, with one judge awarding Mayweather all 12 rounds.
Mayweather’s guaranteed $32-million purse reported by the Nevada State Athletic Commission is an arrangement between him and his company, Mayweather Promotions, not necessarily reflective of the pay-per-view audience.
The fighter’s post-fight statement that he made $70 million on Saturday was met with great skepticism a fight after he reportedly made in excess of $220 million by defeating Manny Pacquiao.
Showtime Vice President Stephen Espinoza declined to discuss the numbers in a Wednesday conversation with The Times.
“We’re happy with the event as a whole,” Espinoza said. “We had four entertaining fights [on Saturday’s card], we saw the historic moment of Floyd’s retirement. It may not have been the biggest Mayweather event ever, but in my view, anything we did coming off the massive May 2 event was going to feel like a bit of a letdown.”
What Espinoza focused on was the accomplishment of his network’s deal with Mayweather, who had been an infrequent fighter before committing to six fights in 28 months.
“We generated over 10 million pay-per-view buys, nearly $800 million in gross domestic pay-per-view revenue. Plus, we got two fights [Pacquiao and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez] that nobody thought we’d get to,” Espinoza said. “A wealth of really entertaining shoulder programming, and some really memorable moments in the events themselves.
“We’re thrilled with the results that have exceeded our expectations in every way.”
The participation of CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves in helping to negotiate Mayweather-Pacquiao wouldn’t have happened if Showtime wouldn’t have struck the deal in the first place.
“If you would’ve told us at the start of this deal, that we’d set the pay-per-view record in two separate occasions, that we’d get ‘Canelo’ and Pacquiao fights ... we would’ve signed the deal even more quickly than we did,” Espinoza said.
Espinoza said he spoke to Mayweather after the Berto bout.
“He seemed very satisfied, very content and at peace with his decision not to continue his boxing career,” Espinoza said. “Unless something dramatic happens, which I’m not expecting, I believe we’ve seen Floyd Mayweather fight for the last time.”
That said, Espinoza said he’ll continue to see Mayweather at other fights, and will entertain the chance to have further dialogue “and take his temperature.”
“But he seems pretty set in his decision.”
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire