Floyd Mayweather's routine, 12-round decision win over Robert Guerrero didn't exactly thrill viewers -- though it was an impressive domination to be sure -- and now, it sounds like they weren't even that many viewers to thrill in the first place.
Word around boxing media right now is that the fight sold less than one million on pay-per-view, which would be the first time that Mayweather (44-0, 26 KO) came in under that number since his 2007 fight with Ricky Hatton, though that also had the additional bonus of pay-per-view in the United Kingdom, which did very well.
Dan Rafael of ESPN.com said today, "Two industry sources told me (the numbers) look bad, under one million. If true, heavy money losses for Showtime." Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports responded, "Well under one million, I've heard."
Numbers for the hype series All Access were quite low on Showtime, and it doesn't sound like the two documentaries, "30 Days in May" and the CBS-aired "Mayweather," did much to promote the fight, either. The matchup doesn't seem to have hooked casual fans like other fights have for Floyd in recent years, and I don't think it's unfair to say that Floyd and Guerrero just didn't come up with a compelling angle to sell this fight.
Personally, I believe (if the talk is true, of course) that this fight was overly reliant on documentaries to sell the event. There was "30 Days in May," which was horribly pandering and an insult to your intelligence, whether you know it or not; All Access, which nobody watched, though I thought they did a good job with it; and "Mayweather," which aired on CBS, a network TV station, which for some reason people think will solve all of boxing's problems. It won't. It's 2013, not 1973 or 1983 or even 1993. Network TV is not going to sell a fight with one documentary -- which, again, wasn't exactly setting the world on fire in the Nielsens. If nobody bothers to watch it, it promoted nothing.
I mean, maybe the numbers will be a million, or maybe, at least, they can never release an official number, and Richard Schaefer will say things like, "I don't know where in the worlds that this is coming from in the media and these blogs with sites names I won't even mention, the fight did very well on pay-per-view," and so on.
But right now, it looks like there's a lot of "Money" going the wrong way with the Mayweather-Showtime deal.