Floyd Mayweather is expected to earn $32 million from his fight against Andre Berto.
After making more than $200 million from “the fight of the century” against Manny Pacquiao, the WBC and WBA welterweight champion has settled for a lot less from Saturday night’s fight in Las Vegas.
Tickets sales have not been good for what Mayweather says will be the last fight of his career.
Asked on Wednesday how many pay-per-view buys would make the fight a success, “Money” Mayweather replied: “The numbers will be what they are. I can’t say any particular number; we’ll just have to see.”
His last five bouts in a lucrative six-fight deal with Showtime Sports that concludes on Saturday have produced staggering figures.
“The first five fights yielded nearly ten million PPV buys – $750 million in PPV receipts,” Stephen Espinoza, executive vice-president and general manager of Showtime Sports, told a news conference at the MGM Grand on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what will happen on Saturday night. I do know Berto is more athletic than any fighter Floyd has fought recently. It’s not going to be boring. When you have fighters like our entire PPV card has, it’s a night not to be missed.”
In stark contrast to his bout with Pacquiao four months ago, the build-up to Mayweather’s 49th professional fight has lacked buzz. Plenty of tickets are still available.
The appeal of the bout, which will be televised on pay-per-view for a suggested price of $74.95, has clearly not been helped by Mayweather’s choice of opponent. Berto has lost three of his last six fights.
“I chose Berto because he’s very exciting,” Mayweather said. He always gives an exciting fight. If he gets knocked down he gets back up. He always gives 100 percent. Fast hands, good boxer.”
“We’re back,” Mayweather told reporters, speaking softly and matter-of-factly but occasionally resorting to his brash style.
“We’ve been here so many times. I know talking doesn’t win fights. I know trainers don’t win fights. It comes down to the two competitors.
“I’m always prepared physically, I’m always prepared mentally. We have a remarkable game plan, we have a remarkable team and I’ve had a remarkable career. I believe in my skills and I believe in my talent.
“I’ve been in there with the best and the results are always the same,” said the 38-year-old from Grand Rapids in Michigan.
“You’ve got fighters that may be faster than me, you’ve got fighters that may hit harder than me, you’ve got fighters that are very athletic but you don’t have a fighter that can make adjustments like me.
“You don’t have fighters that can be on another level mentally. I keep my eyes on the prize. I never focus on things outside the ring. My focus is on the guy that’s in front of me. And I know what I can do.”
Berto, who arrived at the news conference wearing a black hooded tracksuit and sunglasses, spoke briefly when he stepped up to the podium.
“It’s funny but when it comes to the media … they’re not in that gym pushing their arse and knowing the feeling of being a fighter,” he said.
“They don’t know the miles that we run, they don’t know the punishment that we take in the gym, they don’t know the sacrifices that we have to make to become a world champion.
“It’s a small, selected few that can do that … so anybody that steps into the ring, I have to respect. But at the end of the day, when it comes to Saturday night, when it comes to fight time, I’m coming for my respect.”