- According to Showtime, Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero fight lead to the sales of over 1 million PPV buys
- As told by Espinoza, Mayweather could next face Canelo Alvarez
- An easy and unanimous decision won by Mayweather against Guerrero
The Twitterati was seen abuzz in the recent days, guessing on below stellar pay-per-view “buy numbers” for the telecast by Showtime of “Floyd Mayweather’s determination dismantling of Robert Guerrero the previous Saturday.
Stephen Espinoza, the Showtime boss told USA TODAY Sports Friday that in fact the show exceeded buys of 1 million, and numbers still continue to come.
According to Espinoza, “I’m surprised at the amount of mischaracterizations, unfounded assumptions and wrong information that has been circulating. The reality is that before today it would have been irresponsible to make any assumptions on the pay-per-view buys. The information just wasn’t there. It’s like calling the election just a few minutes after the polls close. Sometimes you guess right, but a lot of times you’ll be issuing retractions later on.
“In this case, the information we received through the end of this week tells us is that we are definitely going to exceed a million buys.”
It was told to USA TODAY by Espinoza two weeks back that he’d be really excited if Mayweather-Guerrero increased the goal of Showtime that’s 1 M buys. Around a million buys is over 30% below this goal, but more than the numbers on Twitter later this week which Showtime wouldn’t come close towards million buys.
Espinoza said, “I’ve also heard statements that we’re going to have significant financial losses in this. To be candid, I’m baffled by what the basis is for any of those statements, because they’re inaccurate. There’s no other way to say it. We consider this performance a big win for everyone involved. For Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions, for Robert Guerrero, for Showtime and for all of our colleagues at CBS.
“The event was a success from every way you can measure it — financial, programming, in terms of the quality of the fights — we’re very happy with the event as a whole.”
Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs), who had signed a deal of six-fight with Showtime which could be for above $200 million, he put on display of clinical boxing against Guerrero, that connected on a surprising 60% of the power punches by him. However, later in this fight, there erupted booing from crowd, and many fans could be seen filing out from MGM Grand Garden Arena as 12th round was going to start.
Espinoza said that it’s not that all the fans appreciate the technical skills of boxing by Mayweather and his capability to avoid being hit.
Espinoza said, “It was a clinic. The level of technical skill and artistry that Floyd displayed in that fight was amazing to watch. It’s like watching an artist or dancer at the pinnacle of their performance in seeing the precision with which he operates. And you’re right in that it can be a little monotonous because he is so effective.
“But, there’s a big part of the audience that appreciates the skill level and the artistry he displayed. And for anyone who doesn’t quite get it, I encourage them to watch Floyd live in the arena. It’s even a more compelling display of what he’s doing in the ring. It’s scientific.”
When Espinoza was asked about the willingness of Guerrero to get engaged with media before the fight following Guerrero’s arrest few weeks prior to the fight that took place at JFK Airport for attempting to bring aboard a plane an “unloaded” gun, along with his small fixed fan base, he said that it had much effect on promotion.
He said, “It was a little bit difficult for Robert to talk (to the media) shortly following the incident at JFK because everyone wanted to ask him about that incident and he was getting legal advice that he really shouldn’t address it at all. So yes, it hampered Robert’s ability to participate.
“You’re also right to point out that we didn’t have the benefit of high visibility or Guerrero’s participation in other PPV fights to boost his awareness. And that’s what makes these numbers so impressive. Even without the benefit of a well-known, well-established opponent, for this event to be able to generate over a million pay-per-view buys, a number which no one else does in the current market, just reconfirms Floyd’s drawing power.”
Regarding next opponent of Mayweather, Espinoza was questioned about possibility of matchup of Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez, the two fighters undefeated, bolstered be the tremendous drawing power of Alvarez in Mexico, his native.
Espinoza said, “In my conversations with Floyd and his team, he generally wants to take on the best opponent for each fight. Certainly the most intriguing, and arguably the best opponent would be Canelo. And it’s something that Floyd’s interested in, Canelo’s interested in, and I’d love to have it as well.
“So preliminary talks have started. There haven’t been any big issues, and I’m cautiously optimistic we’re going to do everything we can to make that fight happen.”
Espinoza said that bottom line is that, with the first of Mayweather fight, Showtime was finally happy but Espinoza wasn’t happy about the way that was characterized in media.
He said, “As I said, I was mystified by all the speculation and characterizations that we’d be losing millions on this, because there’s no basis for it, and secondly, it’s not true. We consider this event a success in all aspects, from financial to programming to the staging of the event to the enjoyment of the fans.
“We think this event has done wonders for the Showtime brand. It signals that we are going to continue to be in boxing at the highest level. We’re going to be providing our subscribers with the biggest fights, and the rumors of our financial demise were quite simply untrue.”
Espinoza said that he doesn’t have any regrets about the Maryweather deal.
He said, “We’re happy with the deal, no regrets whatsoever. Floyd is happy, no regrets. Ultimately the two parties that are closest to the deal, if we’re happy, then really there shouldn’t be any other questions about the deal.”
Showtime will have the replay of “Mayweather-Guerrero welterweight title fight” and the “Abner Mares-Daniel Ponce de Leon featherweight title match” aired on the undercard on at 9 p.m.( ET/PT) on Saturday.