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article imageOp-Ed: Why Mayweather-Berto match will sell on PPV despite backlash

By Leo Reyes     Aug 10, 2015 in Sports
The continuing public backlash against Floyd Mayweather for picking Andre Berto as his next opponent could either make or break CBS/Showtime's revenue projection based on minimum pay-per-view (PPV) sales targets in an effort to make the fight viable.
For choosing Berto over more credible opponents that include Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Tim Bradley, Kell Brook, Shawn Porter and Gennady Golovkin, the world's richest athlete has been at the receiving end of harsh criticism for picking Berto to ensure his win and tie Rocky Marciano's unbeaten career record of 49 straight wins in a pro career spanning 18 years.
Berto has a 3-3 win-loss record since his first career loss to Victor Ortiz in 2011. His two other losses were against Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass. Before his loss to Ortiz, Berto had 27-fight winning streak since turning pro in 2004.
Mayweather, unbeaten in 48 pro fights, is reported to be aiming to break Marciano's record after a win against Berto on Sept. 12.
A win against Berto could also trigger a new round of negotiations with Manny Pacquiao for the highly-anticipated rematch early next year.
Pacquiao lost to Mayweather by unanimous decision in their record-breaking "Fight of the Century" last May 2 which garnered 4.4 millions PPV buys valued at over $500 million including gate receipts and advertising revenues.
Despite the tremendous public backlash, Mayweather who is advertising- and promotions-savvy, could turn the negative publicity into an opportunity to connect to a wider consumer reach by engaging the naysayers in a positive discourse like highlighting Berto's 27-fight winning streak or why he lost in some of his recent fights.
Berto, who is still in his prime at 31, has only three losses and has been impressive in his pro career before his loss to Ortiz four years ago.
Having been tagged as one of the most boring fighters to watch in the ring, Mayweather could also assure the public that they will see a different Mayweather on Sept. 12 by telling his fans and foes in social media that he won't run like he did with Pacquiao but will engage Berto in a toe-to-toe fight.
At the press conference over the weekend, Mayweather has already started to justify his choice of Berto in his opening salvo about his opponent.
“Berto is a tough competitor, a former world champion and every time he goes out there, he gives it 100 percent,” Mayweather said. “Berto is a very tough guy, he’s hungry and he’s not going to lie down. I chose Berto because he’s very exciting. Andre Berto is going to push Floyd Mayweather to the limit. That’s one thing I do know. This fight is a very intriguing matchup, very intriguing,” Mayweather added.
Defending on how he and Showtime handle the situation, Mayweather can easily generate at least 1.5 million in PPV buys which is about one third of what he and Pacquiao made in the "Fight of the Century."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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