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Floyd Mayweather claims fight broke gate record despite empty seats

Updated August 27, 2017 - 8:48 pm

Now it’s time to count the money.

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor set a new live-gate record after their megafight Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

Mayweather said the prior gate record of $72 million he set with Manny Pacquiao in 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden was surpassed, but he didn’t say how much was generated.

“We did break the record tonight for the biggest gate,” Mayweather told reporters after defeating McGregor with a 10th-round technical knockout. “Me and Pacquiao done $72 million. I think we done somewhere over $80 million for the live gate.”

Mayweather reached his goal of breaking his own gate record, but the high ticket prices hurt the attendance numbers. The announced attendance was 14,623, far below a capacity crowd.

In May, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had an announced crowd of 20,510 for their showdown at T-Mobile Arena.

The middle section behind press row for Mayweather-McGregor was nearly empty, and the corners of the upper level were closed off.

The floor seats were selling for $10,000 per ticket, and the cheapest ticket in the lower bowl started at $3,500.

The Irish fans who made the trip to see McGregor invaded the Strip and the weigh-in on Friday, but they were hardly heard from inside the arena for fight night. The average fan was priced out as the megabout turned into a gathering for the wealthy.

NBA stars LeBron James and James Harden were in attendance, along with numerous rappers such as Meek Mill, Travis Scott and Quavo.

“I guess because people weren’t in the seats,” a stumped Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said when asked why there were so many empty seats.

Mayweather lets guard down

Mayweather (50-0, 27 knockouts) got the job done by beating McGregor, but the defensive master was nowhere to be found.

McGregor landed 111 of his 430 punches against Mayweather, who was coming off a two-year hiatus from the ring.

It’s a big feat when a boxer is able to land more than 100 shots against arguably the best defensive fighter of all time. According to CompuBox, nine of Mayweather’s opponents landed fewer than 100 shots in a 12-round bout. That list includes Pacquiao, who only connected on 81 punches.

Mayweather, who took a big left uppercut from McGregor, said his game plan was to stalk the Irishman and to give the fans an exciting show to make up for the boring bout versus Pacquiao.

“With coming straight ahead, I was going to take some contact,” Mayweather, 40, said. “I could have sat back and just boxed and counterpunched and made it boring. I didn’t want to do that. I felt like I owed the fans a last hurrah.”

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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