Mayweather vs Guerrero pay-per-view numbers still doubted

USA TODAY Sports

Did the Mayweather vs Guerrero pay-per-view do over a million buys or not? And will we ever know for sure?

Say what you will about ESPN.com boxing reporter Dan Rafael, but he isn't known for sticking his neck out if he doesn't think he's got the correct information. In other words, unlike a heinous, irresponsible, hurtful blogsman such as myself, Rafael doesn't generally say something unless he's quite certain he's right.

That said, Rafael is sticking to his guns, and saying he still believes, based on his sources, that the May 4 Showtime pay-per-view fight between Floyd Mayweather and Robert Guerrero did under one million buys.

From today's ESPN.com boxing chat:

Edwin (LA, California)

Do your sources still say the Mayweather PPV got under a million buys even with the updated data?

Dan Rafael (12:21 PM)

Absolutely yes. I am not going to get into a pissing contest with Showtime but I have good industry sources who swear on their children that this fight will not reach 1 million buys, much less be "in excess" of 1 million and I believe them. These are people with no dog in the fight who I respect and have known for many years and trust. I am told that the number right now is about 870,000 buys. It would take some major anomaly for it to gain another 110,000 plus to go over 1 million. People can believe it or not. I dont really care. If it does 870 or 1M it's not like I make an extra dime. So that's where I stand.

870,000 buys would be Mayweather's lowest total since in years, on par with the December 2007 fight against Ricky Hatton, which did a reported 850,000 buys. That's not to say there's not a ton of money made from 870,000 buys, either -- but if that's the number, look, there's just no way to get around or spin the fact that this would be a disappointment for everyone involved. Mayweather has been a lock to pull in a million buys since he returned in 2009 against Juan Manuel Marquez. When that fight came in over a million, a bunch of people insisted it couldn't be true. When this fight was reported under a million, a bunch of people insisted it couldn't be true. Basically the same thing, just with different skeptics.

I also want to note that I, personally, do not care if it did 870,000 or 1 million or 1.2 million or 403,000. It's just something to talk about. What does matter, though, is if Floyd suddenly isn't an automatic million on PPV, some of his value has been lost, and whatever the real number is, could play a major role in dictating what his next fight will be.

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