Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are putting the “prize” back in prizefighting.
The world’s two best pound-for-pound boxers, who have sparred in the media and through litigation for close to six years, will finally meet in the squared circle on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will unify the WBC, WBA and WBO welterweight titles, but more importantly, the winner will be regarded as the best fighter of his era.
Considering all the obstacles over the years, it’s miraculous Mayweather-Pacquiao is happening at all. But the parties involved — including Mayweather Promotions, Top Rank, the pay-per-view arms of HBO and Showtime, and the fighters themselves — found common ground to complete the deal.
It’s a deal that they couldn’t afford not to make. The fight’s financial estimates are staggering. Of the estimated $300 million total purse, Mayweather would take a 60 percent split ($180 million), while Pacquiao will take 40 percent ($120 million). The live gate could reach a record $74 million (previous record was $20 million for Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez in 2013). Face value of tickets start at $1,500 and go up to $10,000 (resale could fetch three or four times that amount), and there will reportedly be no complimentary tickets for celebrities who want to be seen ringside. The record for boxing pay-per-view buys is 2.4 million for Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, but Mayweather-Pacquiao could get 4 million buys.
Mayweather-Pacquiao would’ve been a great match five years ago, before Pacquiao’s consecutive losses in 2012, and it would have made a ton of money. But the fighters’ holding out has given Mayweather-Pacquiao mythical status, and it proved to be well worth the wait in dollars for everyone involved. Whether it was worth the wait for boxing fans will be determined on May 2.
How to order Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on Pay-Per-View: