Mayweather and Pacquiao’s super bout will generate $250 Million.
After all the fantasizing, wishing, hoping and longing among boxing fans, the “fight of the millennium” is becoming a reality. The five long years of back and forth negotiations looks as though it may finally bear fruit. The undefeated, 47-0 Mayweather posted the signed contract last Friday on social media. The bout, considered be the highest in the history of boxing, will have a purse of at least $250 million. Both fighters agreed to a 60/40 split earning Mayweather $150 million and Pacquiao $100 million.
• Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao
• May 2nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas
• Purse of at least $250 million
Mayweather seems to be the one who has led the push for this fight to happen. He has set most of the parameters of the fight from his announcement of the fight, being introduced first, walking in the ring second, as well as their split of the purse. According to US gambling news, the television rights to show the fight in the U.S. will be shared jointly by HBO, who’s contracted with Mayweather and Showtime, who’s contracted with Pacquiao. Sky Sports and BT Sport will contend to present the fight throughout Europe.
It didn’t take long for fans to demonstrate how much faith they had in the hype. Before a ticket was sold, every room in MGM Grand sold out within minutes of that fight’s announcement. Although Mayweather has been outspoken about his push to make the fight happen, Pacquiao has posted another of messages on twitter about his feelings for the fight. “I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years.”
Manny has continued to be active in his tweets. “I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and as always to bring glory to the Phillipines.” Also not mixing words, Pacquiao did describe his ability to win this bout. “I can easily beat @FloydMayweather, I believe that.” Although Floyd hasn’t responded much to this, his tweets have been more directed towards visiting his merchandise and marketing sites. It seems Mayweather’s nickname “Money” may represent his priorities as well as his prowess in the ring.
The First Attempt to Bring the Superbout to Life
Back in late 2009, Mayweather and Pacquiao signed a contract to fight on March 13, 2010. Although Manny Pacquiao denies signing a contract, ESPN claims it happened. Mayweather’s representatives Golden Boy Promotions sent a contract to Pacquiao’s representatives at Top Rank. This eight pages agreement included stipulations such as Pacquiao weighing in first, Pacquiao stepping into the ring first, Mayweather having first choice of the locker room. Despite this imbalance, the purse was proposed to be a 50/50 split.
This fight was not only predicted by experts to be the highest-grossing fight in boxing history, but it’s revenues could even exceed the $250 million expected in the current bout on May 5th. HBO was set to be the television sponsor and the venue was being decided between Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and the Superdome in New Orleans.
Mayweather also requested Olympic-style drug testing. Although several people from Pacquiao’s camp, including his trainer and adviser, spoke as though the testing wasn’t a problem, it didn’t represent Pacquiao’s feelings. In 2009, it was released that Pacquiao didn’t want to commit to Olympic-style drug testing. His promoter called off the fight. Top Rank promotions quickly offered the Mayweather camp a final offer agreeing to all terms except to have blood testing at only 3 intervals being no closer than 30 days from the bout.
Manny Pacquiao has always felt that taking his blood weakened him before a fight. He credited his loss to Erik Morales in 2005 to drug testing. Manny’s refusal to comply with United States Anti-Doping Agency because their testing schedule wouldn’t coincide with his requirements, led Mayweather to speculate if Pacquiao was using performance enhancing drugs. After Pacquiao filed suit again Mayweather in a U.S. District Court in Nevada, both sides couldn’t come to a mutual agreement.
So Close Yet Still Not So Far
In 2010, the plan was first rehatched to another Mayweather/Pacquiao confrontation. According to Philippines gambling news, Manny Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin he would be willing to have a drug test close to two week prior to the fight if they don’t take too much blood. Unfortunately, on the same day, Mayweather announced he was taking the rest of 2010 off. The bout was almost finalized a month later and the decision ultimately was left to Floyd Mayweather.
After a July 16th deadline was issued by the Rob Arum, CEO of Top Rank, there wasn’t an answer from the Mayweather camp. It quickly came out that Arum and Ross Greenburg of HBO Sports may have lied about their negotiations. The claims remained unsubstantiated and the fight never took place. To add further insult to injury, Mayweather posted some racially profane marks against Pacquiao. Although Mayweather admitted making these statements, he apologized for them.
Although drug testing didn’t seem like an issue anymore between either party as of late 2012, there was still issue on the split of the purse. Within a week, the federal defamation case Pacquaio filed against Mayweather came to a confidential settlement with Mayweather insisting that he never intended to make claims concerning Pacquiao’s use of performance enhancing drugs. In 2013 there was even more push for the bout, Mayweather proclaimed there wouldn’t be a fight due to his refusal to negotiate with Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s representative.
In 2014, the fighters did bump heads a little. Mayweather claimed Pacquiao’s losses to Bradley and Marquez proved that Manny wasn’t on his level. The 57-5-2 Pacquiao claimed that he challenged Mayweather to fight for a free bout in which all proceeds went to charity. Last January, during an NBA game, the two fighters exchanged numbers and nailed out their differences in a Mayweather’s hotel room that night. Soon out of speculation, grew promise and out of that grew an agreement. The rest is on schedule to be history.