If Floyd Mayweather Jr. is actually retiring, it appears he'll be going out with one of the biggest financial duds of his professional career.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reported that Mayweather's Sept. 12 bout with Andre Berto drew somewhere between 400,000 and 550,000 pay-per-view buys—his lowest total in nearly a decade. Sources differed on the actual total, but the sales nonetheless represent the overall tepid nature of a bout that was seen as an overwhelming mismatch from the start.
Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza spoke with Iole about the fight:
To a large extent, anything we did coming off of that massive May 2 event was going to feel like a bit of a letdown. We didn't have available a really compelling list of available opponents. There's been a lot of speculation about a lot of things, but when you got down to it, there wasn't really a long list of available guys and none of them were slam dunk established stories or really compelling storylines.
Mayweather defeated Berto via unanimous decision in one of the more lopsided fights of Money's career. The judges scored the fight 120-108, 118-110 and 117-111 in Mayweather's favor, with Berto flailing around the ring and barely mounting any significant offense all night.
It was the realization of the worst-case scenario for Showtime, which just four months ago was touting the record-setting numbers of Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
Berto blamed Mayweather for the low numbers, per TMZ:
It’s definitely Floyd's fault, He left a sour taste in everybody’s mouth because of the Pacquiao bomb shell.
I knew if he had the chance he would run around and make it boring, but I tried my best to not let that happen and disappoint the people. They deserve excitement.
A half-decade in the making, Mayweather-Pacquiao pulled over 4.4 million pay-per-view buys, by far the largest audience in the sport's history. The event generated $600 million in revenue, with both fighters bringing home nine-figure paydays.
By contrast, Mayweather-Berto was a snoozefest that barely drew the interest of boxing diehards. It was seen by many as a victory lap for Mayweather, who needed one more fight to fulfill his Showtime contract after the Pacquiao match.
The win moved Mayweather to 49-0, matching Rocky Marciano's mark, and the 38-year-old has maintained he is done in the ring.
“You got to know when to hang it up,” Mayweather said, per George Willis of the New York Post. "I think it’s my time to hang it up. I’m close to 40 years old. I broke all records. There’s nothing else to prove in the sport of boxing. Now I just want to spend time with my family and children and take Mayweather Promotions to the next level.”
If Mayweather's serious, he'll go down as one of the few fighters in history to say the word "retirement" and mean it.
With that said, as the numbers continue trickling in from the Berto bout, it'd be understandable if Mayweather wanted to hop back in the ring and go out with more of a bang.
Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.