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Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, and a mystical 4 million boxing PPV buy rate number

By Zach Arnold | April 30, 2010

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Since negotiations failed between the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao camps to set up a mega-fight on PPV, both parties have went in different directions but the question remains the same in the media as it has for over a year — “When are you two going to fight?” When the PPV buy rate numbers came in for Pacquiao vs. Josh Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas at around 700,000-750,000 PPV buys, there were people who were actually disappointed by that number. 750,000 PPV buys for essentially a mega-name versus a fighter that casual fans thought was a no-namer is a pretty good number. 750,000 PPV buys is a pretty good number if you ask UFC about the fight they booked between Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy last March.

If you wonder why anyone is keeping score about PPV buy rate figures between Mayweather and Pacquiao, it’s because one of the major storylines of the failed negotiations revolved around how much of a cut Mayweather wanted from the PPV revenue. Reportedly there was an agreement reached between the two parties and then there was the demand by Mayweather’s camp of Olympic-style drug testing. Pacquiao said no to that and everything fall apart.

In many ways, Floyd Mayweather is hoping and praying that his PPV buy rate on Saturday against Shane Mosley dwarfs what Pacquiao drew for his Cowboy Stadium fight. Granted, Mosley is not a no-namer like Clottey is to your average, casual PPV customer. With that said, Mosley has not exactly been setting the world on fire on the PR rounds to hype the fight. He’s the same Shane Mosley we’ve been accustomed to watching for a long time. Mayweather, on the other hand, has been a PR dynamo on HBO’s 24/7 series and has managed to stir the pot in sports media circles while maintaining a relatively calm, yet cocky front about himself.

Mayweather wants and needs the PPV buy rate for Saturday’s fight to tower over what Pacquiao drew so that he can increase his leverage at the negotiating table. Of course, if he loses to Mosley, everything is thrown out the window. However, the odds makers in Las Vegas have Mayweather as a huge favorite going into the fight (think: 80% favorite). The suggested retail price for the PPV is $65 USD. Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions is predicting 4 million PPV buys. And here I thought 2 million PPV buys was crazy.

Dan Rafael of ESPN laid out why the fight has so much buzz and interest.

“If you’re interested in two of the best fighters in the world face each other in the ring in a fight a lot of people have wanted to see for many, many years going way back to when Floyd was the Jr. Lightweight world champion and Mosley was the Lightweight world champion, and the fact that Mosley usually makes excellent fights, this is a fight you probably want to tune into. Most people have behind Manny Pacquiao on the pound-for-pound list Floyd Mayweather #2 and Shane Mosley #3, so it’s #2 vs. #3 and it doesn’t get much better in the sport of boxing than that.”

Mayweather’s most intriguing interview so far in the media was with Jim Rome on Thursday. Rome asked Mayweather if Saturday’s fight was “a legacy fight.”

“I mean it’s always great of course to put some extra names on your legacy you know when it’s all said and done when you go in the hall of fame as one of the best fighters to ever live. I mean I’m pretty sure that the Mosley camp has a game plan but all 40 opponents had a game plan and the game plan didn’t work.”

Calmly and smoothly, Mayweather then proceeded to call Mosley a drug user in one fell swoop of psychological warfare.

“I mean I can’t really say if Shane Mosley is a future hall-of-famer because like I said before we know he dibbled and dabbled and admitted to using a drug so we can’t say if he’s a future hall-of-famer but I mean Floyd Mayweather done it the old-fashioned way, just a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, and just a lot of belief.”

Given the demands that Mayweather asked for drug testing heading into this fight, he seems rather confidence that Mosley’s size advantage won’t make a big difference in the outcome of the fight.

“Well, we all know of course this is not a weightlifting contest so of course you know lifting weights and being strong doesn’t win fights. Having great timing and being a very, very smart and intelligent fighter wins fights. I mean, I’ve been in there with guys that was a lot bigger and probably hit a lot harder and lot stronger but Floyd Mayweather always has the remedy.

“I mean you know it’s just like you know you go back and look at some of my huge championship fights in the past and all the fighters who said they were going to knock Floyd Mayweather out all got knocked out. We all know Mosley hit the canvas before with Vernon Forrest. If you hit the canvas before, you can hit the canvas again. So, my ultimate goal is to break him down and knock Mosley out in the late rounds.”

Rafael, during an interview on ESPNNews on Thursday, noted that Mosley is going to be a major test for Mayweather and a big step-up in terms of competition in comparison to fighters Mayweather has faced in the past.

“Well I think that Shane has something there, I mean the fact is that if you looked at all the fights that Floyd has fought in his entire career, I would say that Shane is probably either the fastest, maybe the second fastest behind Zab Judah who gave Floyd an awful lot of problems in their fight at least early on. You know he’s a very fast fighter, Shane Mosley, even though he is a little bit older at 38. And as far as power goes, you know Mosley is a tremendous knockout puncher in the Welterweight division. He’s moved up from the Lightweight division as heavy as the Jr. Middleweight division and now he’s back in the Welterweight division where he dominated for several years. He’s a tremendous puncher and the thing about him is that Floyd has faced other good punchers but he hasn’t necessarily faced a guy that can deliver the punch with the power that Mosley has and so that’s the question a lot of folks are asking: What will happen if Mosley can catch him with one of those fast, you know, terrific punches? We really haven’t seen Floyd’s chin tested. This will be the first time in my estimation that he is stepping into the ring with a truly elite Welterweight fighter.

“In his last fight, which is over a year ago in January of last year, [Mosley] sure didn’t look 38 or 37 if that was he was at the time. he fought Antonio Margarito in a fight that Margarito was supposed to run right over him and guessed what happened? Shane Mosley dominated every single moment of every single round and knocked him out in the 9th round in a tremendous performance to win one of the Welterweight titles. You know Shane has had some inconsistency, no question about that. There have been fights where he has not looked at his best, but even when he’s lost fights he’s usually been in them, it’s not like he’s been thoroughly dominated except maybe in the first fight with Vernon Forrest way back in 2001 or 2002 in a fight where he suffered a very severe head butt early in the fight, so one thing about Shane Mosley is win or lose the man comes to fight and most of the time he wins and if you look at his resume at least from the Welterweight division up, his resume is much more significant than the resume of Floyd Mayweather and so that’s one of the things that makes the fight definitely intriguing.”

One way Floyd hopes to gain an edge in the fight is by screwing with Shane Mosley’s mind and getting him out of his normal element of fight preparation. Dropping the drug bomb on Mosley in public, Mayweather thinks that he’s successfully psyching out Mosley and irritating him.

“I think he’s out of character because Shane Mosley is not a trash talker, you know, Floyd Mayweather has been talking trash for 40 fights and I’ve backed it up for 40 fights. I don’t think for Shane Mosley, he’s out of character. My main thing is to go out there and do what I do best and that’s to be the best and be smart and we have a tremendous game plan. You know I’ve been back working with my father Floyd Mayweather Sr. I’m working with my uncle Roger and camp has went well.”

Mosley responded to Mayweather’s answer on during an interview with Ryan Burr on ESPNNews on Thursday.

“This is the way that I come off all the time. I don’t really change my personality just because the camera is on me, so… yeah, I just like to be myself and the people like it and enjoy it which they ahve for the last 17 years of professional fighting and even my amateur career. This is what they get, this is what they pay for.

“I think it’s more a part of the promotion and part of getting into another fighter’s head, maybe he’s been successful with that type of strategy and maybe because I know him personally that it just doesn’t bother me because I know his personality.”

For Mayweather, he views his unblemished record and his ability to draw the most at the box office as his two biggest qualifications for being a hall-of-fame fighter.

“Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t lie. When we talk about PPV, it’s Floyd Mayweather. When we talk about highest gate in history, Floyd Mayweather. Who holds the record for PPV? Floyd Mayweather? Who landed the high percentage? Floyd Mayweather? Who takes the less punishment? Floyd Mayweather? Who won the title the quickest? Floyd Mayweather. 12 months and I was world champion so I mean when you just go back and do your homework I mean my stats tell it all.”

During the interview with Rome, he managed to bait Mayweather in a hilarious back-and-forth exchange about whether or not he is better than Muhammad Ali.

“I mean why Muhammad Ali and not me? I didn’t live in his era. Muhammad Ali fought Ken Norton, he really lost all three times to Ken Norton. He lost to Leon Spinks who beat Ali when he had 7 fights and Ali didn’t throw any body punches. Just because I’m Floyd Mayweather and I don’t lay and take on the punishment, there’s nothing cool about laying on the ropes taking punishment and then coming back and fighting a guy. What’s so great about my career is I went out there and done it in great form, in great fashion. I didn’t lose to anyone else in my era, I dominated.

“OK, well what’s so great about those fighters back then? What’s so great about them?

“This is something that I know and like I said before, I fight for me and I fight for my family and of course I always want to entertain the fans and put on a show for the fans. But like I said before, I know deep in my heart, deep in my heart that I’m the best no matter what nobody says. Stats don’t lie.

“This is what I do, you know, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. The only thing I’m going to do or say, you know, an opinion is like an asshole — everybody got one.”

Mosley was incredulous when he heard that Mayweather stated that he was better than Muhammad Ali.

“You never can say that you are better than another person unless you’re in the ring with them. These guys fought everybody and all comers in each weight class so it’s hard kind of hard. He’s probably overstepping his boundaries just a little bit. But you know [Floyd] is a great fighter and he has a lot of great abilities.”

When Rome brough up Pacquiao’s name, Mayweather replied back with a curt answer.

“My main focus is Mosley. All roads lead to Floyd Mayweather. I’m not chasing no opponent down. My main focus is May 1st and I take it one fight at a time.”

With a win over Shane Mosley, Mayweather feels that he will further cement his status as boxing’s best draw and best entertainer. Mosley, despite being a +300 or higher underdog going into the fight, believes that his experience and size will help him beat Mayweather.

“I think it would be a big win for me. I mean it’s the type of fight that all the fans want to see and I think it’s going to be a great victory in my career. I’m very fast, too, so I mean, it goes both ways. Can he handle my speed? Can he handle my power? It goes both ways. That’s what makes this fight so great.”

Dan Rafael says Mayweather will win, but it won’t be as lopsided as everyone suspects it will be.

“It’s one of those fights where he is a big favorite in the sportsbooks in Las Vegas. I don’t know if I agree on the width of the odds, but you know I guess the way I look at it is Shane is a little bit older, Floyd’s a little younger, a little bit fresher, a little bit quicker, and the smart money in my mind is that even though as terrific as Shane been throughout his career, maybe comes up a little bit short in a pretty spirited fight and loses a decision. But, if Shane Mosley wins the fight, I will not be shocked whatsoever, trust me when I say that.”

Topics: Boxing, Media, Zach Arnold | 35 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

35 Responses to “Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, and a mystical 4 million boxing PPV buy rate number”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Without a Latino fighter, I can’t see this doing record business.

    My guess would be around what UFC 111 did….

  2. Fluyid says:

    I’m predicting 17 million PPV buys.

    You read that right. I said 17 million.

    • edub says:


      To 45: Thats not anywhere near it. It most likely will be the second most drawing fight of all time on PPV behind Oscar-PBF.

  3. Ivan Trembow says:

    The show is $55 on Comcast systems and they mentioned that as the price on ESPN as well. Still overpriced.

  4. Michael Rome says:

    No point in taking these predictions seriously, Schaefer is likely to announce on Monday that the show outdrew the Superbowl.

  5. robthom says:

    I think money is undefeated.

    Is he the Fed of boxing or is he a construction of it?

    (or is Fed a construction for that matter? 😉 )

  6. dahoe says:

    i predict around 1.5million buys with a less than full gate. Mosley is a pretty big name, no PPV star, but a big name in US circles none the less. Steve Kim had a much different view of PPV sales than Schaefer

    • Supposedly this fight is basically sold out with a $10 million gate.

      • Mr. Roadblock says:

        That’s not including scalpers.

        Did you hear what Mayweather and Hatton did? They took their ticket allotments and marked them up selling them to sclapers who turned around and still made a profit.

        Both guys made millions off ticket sales.

  7. Chris says:

    I Think this is one of those boxing events that’s going to appeal to the casual boxing fans, as well as the hardcores. So I’m going with 2 million.

  8. Mr. Roadblock says:

    I’ve wanted to see this fight for years. Can’t wait for tomrrow.

    Shane is going to win. His jab is going to give Floyd fits. When Floyd gets frustrated and decides to make it a fight Shane’s 2,3 is going to prove to be too much for him.

    • Fluyid says:

      It’s a great matchup.

      I’ll take Mayweather by decision.

      (But I am among the world’s worst at predicting who wins)

  9. robthom says:

    Many people are throwbacks!

    Hence the term elite.

    I predict many people still argue/care about boxing.

  10. David M says:

    This is a huge fight. Mosley is almost as big now as when he beat Oscar, and Floyd can always sell a ppv. I predict 1 million buys.

    I hope Shane wins, but I think he is a quarter step behind Floyd in terms of speed, and lacks some of the technical savvy and defense that have made Floyd so special. Shane is quick, tough, and can punch, so he has a shot. Floyd doesn’t do well with guys who can match his speed; Zab was winning for 4 rounds until he mentally broke. I remember when Floyd fought Chop Chop Corley (who is not a puncher of Shane’s caliber but is pretty fast) he got hit with some good clean punches, and I wonder what would happen if he got hit with those punches from a guy like Mosley. Should be interesting.

  11. sammyscaff says:

    Funny to think that Floyd thinks he deserves to go to the Hall of Fame but Shane doesnt. If anything, the opposite should be true.

    Floyd talks about his 40-0 record. But if anyone who knows boxing looks at his actual record, its mostly hand picked and not very impressive. Especially compared to a fighter like Shane Mosley. Look at Mosley’s record and it includes MANY more names than Mayweather’s record. The reason that Shane has losses is because he has fought MANY more elite fighters (especially ones in their prime) than Floyd.

    In the 24/7 show Mayweather listed off the guys who “fucked up” Shane Mosley- Vernon Forrest, Winky Wright, Miguel Cotto… My question was Why didnt Floyd fight any of those guys???

    It is a cold hard FACT that when Floyd “retired” from boxing, he did so claiming that there was nothing left to do and that he had cleaned out his division…and that he was the best fighter in the world. That couldnt have been further from the truth. He was a welterweight (147) when he retired…and he had (and still has) only fought one real welterweight in his entire career.. an old Oscar De La Hoya. He had (and has until now) failed to face any of the top welterweights such as Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, and Paul Williams. At that time that list of Welterweights was practically a P4P list. And Floyd retired without fighting any of them, claiming that he was the best in the world while he wasnt even really a top proven welterweight!

    Mosley had the steroid issue, but anyone with half a brain can see that his skills are proven and his boxing career was not built on performance enhancement. Anyone who disputes this clearly doesnt really know boxing and/or hasn’t seen his fights.

    • mr. roadblock says:

      You are 100% right.

      Long time readers of this site with good memories will remember my prediction when Shane fought Margaritto. I said if Shane wins Floyd will unretire.

      Shane retired to duck Margarito.

      He has a very flimsy resume when you start talkimg about all time geats. It’s similar to Roy Jones’ resume before Tarver.

      • The Gaijin says:

        Unfortunately Margarito went and fucked up his legacy by getting nailed for fighting with plaster in his gloves and PBF will be able to cross him off the list of guys he’ll fight and no one can really blame him for it.

  12. Mark says:

    Mayweather is a self-promotion genius. When he retires he needs to write a book or give lectures on it. The man can turn his morning defecation into a top news story.

    And Mosley did make himself a name to even the most casual of casuals by jumping in the ring after Mayweather’s last fight (and fortunately Nick Diaz wasn’t there to kick him in the head) so I don’t think this show doing a million buys is out of the question.

    Even if you hate Floyd (as 99% of the readers here seem to) you should hope it is a success. It will draw Pacman back to the drawing board.

    And I can’t see Mosley doing anything Mayweather isn’t capable of defending. Call him boring if you want, but there’s no better defense in combat sports today. He’ll win another decision.

  13. David M says:

    I agree with everyone who says that Floyd is a ducker. He somehow has some kind of 147 belt even though he has never fought Margarito, Mosley, Paul Williams, Kermit Cintron, or Cotto. He won a split decision against an old Oscar and beat Ricky Hatton and somehow considers himself a boxing god. His best performance ever IMO was against Corrales back at 130 or 135. One of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

    • mr. roadblock says:

      To be fair his win over Genaro Hernandez was phenmenal. That was at 130lbs 12 years ago and has no bearing on his 147lb ranking.

  14. Fluyid says:

    I’ve been saying for a long time that I take Mayweather over Pacquiao. Anyone reconsidering their take on this matchup?

    PS – I talked to one of Top Rank’s matchmakers the other day and he told me that they’re going to target that particular fight for November and try to focus on getting it to Cowboys Stadium. We shall see.

    • No. That’s how I see it too. I think it might be a more competitive fight and thus deserving of a rematch for more money (and while Berto wins a couple more fights before he too is sacrificed at the altar).

  15. Mr.Roadblock says:

    I was wrong. Mosley didn’t fight the way I thought he would. Dominant win for Floyd.

    Let’s see him fight Pac-man now. I still think Manny wins. The key to beating Floyd is to be aggressive and not let him settle in to fighting his fight. Easier said than done.

  16. It wasn’t some sort of life affirming fight, but it was about what you had to reasonably expect it to be. Mayweather by decision was a pretty practical call. Basically, he left it to Mosley whether or not he was going to get totally destroyed, a la Hatton. If he wanted to press the action and try to win, he’d have ended up face down on the canvas. Mosley instead just got frustrated and accepted the occasional right hand to the face.

    I like Manny plenty, and I think he’ll put down pressure to challenge Floyd and truly play the Duran to Floyd’s Ray Leonard. I still can’t imagine that it never happens. Too much money.

  17. David M says:

    Floyd struggles with speed. He had trouble with Zab and he almost got KTFO by Shane tonight. Pac is faster than both, a more explosive puncher, has all the reflexes that Shane doesn’t anymore, and puts his combos together. I think Pacquiao knocks him out.

    • Chuck says:

      I think he succumbs to pressure fighting (and a solid jab to boot) more than anything. Jose Luis Castillo (the first fight) and Oscar De La Hoya were the two closest to beating Floyd. It sure as hell wasn’t Mosley’s speed in the second round that almost did Floyd in, it was his pressure and big shots.

  18. David M says:

    Chuck Zab was a very fast southpaw just like Manny, but unlike Manny he is mentally weak and can’t box for shit. Manny also puts pressure on guys and swarms with 6 punch combos like very few guys can do. I had totally forgotten about the JLC fight; good call.

  19. manapua says:

    Mayweather will KO Pacquaio if they ever do fight. Manny’s relentless desire to pressure will just result in him taking shots until he finally dropped to the canvas by Mayweather;s superior counter attack. The guy is just way too good defensively.

    • edub says:

      Completely agree.

      Mosely could be called the best LW of all time, and he definately is an all time great. Floyd nullified everything he did. It was a masterful performance.

  20. liger05 says:

    Great performance from PBF. Once again showed that when he needs to fight he will. People think he only fights moving backwards and cant walk a fighter down but he can. He met Mosley in the middle of the ring and was far too good. PBF beats Pacman. Pacman gets hit with too many counters.

  21. 45 Huddle says:


    After the 2nd round, it was about as exciting as watching GSP lay on Hardy for 5 rounds….

    Technique is great…. But the lack of killer instinct on the top echelon fighters is boring as sh!t….

    And don’t give me the “You don’t appreciate a great fight non-sense”. Abu Dhabi World Submissions Championships are filled with wonderful high level technique. It also puts me to sleep. So does Floyd Mayweather….

  22. David M says:

    45 Floyd was moving forward and landed a lot of clean shots. Maybe you should just watch Leonard Garcia fights on loop.

  23. Fluyid says:

    If the reports of an $11 million live gate are correct, this card will be the #9 biggest live gate for a boxing show in Nevada history (according to the Nevada Athletic Commission’s site). Pretty freaking good.

    The combative sports world is really healthy right now, I think.

  24. Fluyid says:

    “If we fight, I’ll need more speed because Mayweather is fast.”

    –Manny Pacquiao


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