Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight to Set Record for Biggest Sports Payday

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From the boxers to promo rights, the May 2 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is expected to have huge payouts for everyone involved. (© Jonathan Alcorn/epa/Corbis photo)
From the boxers to promo rights, the May 2 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is expected to have huge payouts for everyone involved. (© Jonathan Alcorn/epa/Corbis photo)

Ever hear the saying “Good things come to those who wait?” It looks like these good things will definitely be coming to Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KOs) as he prepares for his championship fight with Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Nobody knows if the actual fight outcome will be good for Mayweather, but financially, he will be very happy whether he wins or loses. The amount of revenue this fight will generate is looking to break all records in the history of the sport. Let’s look at the “live gate” for example, which is the gross revenue from just the actual tickets sold to see the fight live at the MGM Grand.

The face value of a ticket starts at $1,500 for the worst seat in the house. Ringside, tickets are to go for $10,000 apiece. These prices are unprecedented, and most will be bought by the casino, the fighter’s camps and promoters and other boxing insiders. Very few of the arena’s tickets are expected to be sold to the general non-connected public, and a sellout is already assured. The all-time “live gate” record is approximately $20 million from the fairly recent Mayweather Jr-Canelo Alvarez fight two years ago. The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is slated to make well over $70 million. That should give you some context.

“For whatever it’s worth, the buildup over these years has certainly enhanced the fight,” promoter Bob Arum told the New York Post. “Everybody knows about it now, even people who don’t follow boxing.”

The main beneficiary of this match is Mayweather, who promotes his own fights and works for himself, not a Don King-type agent/promoter. He gets 60 percent of the revenue while the Pacquiao side gets the remaining 40 percent. Other records include Tecate beer paying more than $5 million for promotional rights, beating out Corona’s bid. According to the Post article, Sky Sports also signed a lucrative deal to show the fight in Europe, so the brawl will make $100 million before anyone buys a ticket or throws a punch.

And the pay-per-view itself is also expected to easily break the record set in 2007 from the Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya bout of 2.3 million buys. Estimates say there will be 3 million buys, but 4 million is not out of the question. What are the prices for the PPV? They’ve also gone up from $50 to up to $100 domestically.

Read more: Tyson, Holyfield & Hopkins Show Dark Side of Boxing in ‘Champs’

So, Mayweather can walk out of the May 2 fight with more than $150 million for one night’s work, and a $200-million payday is not farfetched. Pacquiao will also take in more than $100 million, win or lose.

This also leads to great speculation about the judges, the decision and the rematch, as Mayweather has one more fight on his contract with Showtime. The pugilist said last year that the fight would take place this coming September, and it would be his final match before he retires to focus on building “the Mayweather Promotions brand.”

The results of the May 2 fight against Pacquiao will obviously influence who will be Mayweather’s opponent come September. Making $150-$200 million for this fight, and maybe more for the rematch, may be the greatest attraction for Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.

Evander Smart is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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