FLOYD Mayweather’s much-hyped win over Conor McGregor failed to set a record for ticket revenue at a boxing bout.
The bout, won by Mayweather on 26 August, was expected to better ticket sales of $72.2m (£55.4m) when the American beat Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
But figures released show over 7,000 seats were empty at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, generating $55.4m (£42.5m), the second-highest boxing gate in history.
Pay-per-view television sales will be finalised in the coming days.
The bout is said to be close to bettering the 4.6m pay-per-view buys Mayweather-Pacquiao generated.
On Tuesday, Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza said that if the broadcaster sees the growth in numbers it expects as final pay-per-view figures come in from territories, the 4.6m sales will be broken.
Revenue from these sales, added to gate receipts, merchandising and sponsorship could carry the bout past the $620m (£475.4m) haul Mayweather-Pacquiao earned, making it the richest fight in boxing history.
But missing the gate receipts record will come as a blow. In the immediate aftermath of his 10th-round stoppage win, Mayweather used his news conference to state the record had been surpassed.
Figures provided by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), who sanctioned the bout, showed 13,094 tickets were sold. A further 137 were given away as complimentary tickets, taking the total attendance to 13,231. The T-Mobile Arena holds 20,500 for boxing events and on fight night, Mayweather Promotions stated the attendance was 14,623.
The high cost of tickets will be referenced as a reason for the lowly attendance, with some reaching prices as high as $10,000 (£7,667). The fight was widely criticised by fighters, pundits and punters, who believed UFC’s McGregor stood no chance in his boxing debut against one of the most decorated fighters in the sport’s history.
Former five-weight world champion Mayweather has retired undefeated in 50 fights. The NSAC figures show he has been part of six of the seven highest-earning gates in boxing.
Of the top-seven gates recorded in the state of Nevada, only Lennox Lewis’ win over Evander Holyfield in 1999 – now fifth on the all-time list – does not feature Mayweather. – bbc.com