On Monday, Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum announced that recently, there were secret negotiations with Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a fight against Manny Pacquiao. But when the demands for “money” came up, the entire fight negotiations fell apart once again. According to the Manila Bulletin, Arum told a room full of reporters that Mayweather Jr. demanded a guaranteed fight purse of $100 million dollars.
“Yeah, a hundred (million dollars) That only says he doesn’t want to fight. That leaves nothing for Manny.” Arum, Manila Bulltetin
By Tuesday morning, boxing fans and critics ‘lit up’ the internet like Christmas lights on the Griswold’s family house in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The majority of comments echoed what Arum said in that Mayweather Jr. proved that he doesn’t want to fight. Most Mayweather detractors claim that Floyd Jr. is just showing how scared he really is by not wanting to fight Manny. But is this really fear or just smart business?
Mayweather Jr. has developed a reputation for ducking fighters and the last 1 1/2 years of unsuccessful negotiations with Pacquiao only leads to more speculations and accusations of Mayweather’s “intestinal fortitude”. However, if the fight only comes down to money, and the whole drug testing issue is over, then why is this such a bad thing? $100 million dollars is not unreasonable for “The Fight of the Century”.
When Mayweather Jr. fought Oscar De La Hoya on May 5, 2007, the fight broke every boxing record for revenue, PPV buys, live gate and fight purse. The fight generated over $120 million dollars in revenue, a live gate of $19 million, a record of 2.4 million PPV buys ($55 for PPV fees), and Oscar netted $52 million dollars while Floyd Jr. took home $35 million. The fight was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena which typically holds 20,000 at the most.
When Pacquiao fought Margarito last November at Dallas Cowboys stadium, the fight did reasonably well with estimates putting the attendance at 36,000 to 43,000, PPV buys of 1.15 million, $64 million in revenue and Manny taking home at least $15 million.
Now, a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. would break all records involved. With investors bidding for the fight, there could be even more money involved. We could see numerous sites and countries bidding to have this mega-fight from Las Vegas to Dallas and New Jersey to Abu Dhabi.
If held in Dallas, this fight will easily double the attendance figures of the last fight held there between Manny and Antonio. One could estimate the fight would draw at least 80,000 in attendance. Additionally, PPV buys would surpass the 2.4 million of Oscar and Floyd Jr. because this fight between Manny and Floyd has captured the boxing world, the mainstream media, and even the casual fans world-wide. We may also see for the first time a boxing PPV break the $60-$65 dollar viewing fee. HBO and Showtime will have to bid on who gets this PPV as well considering each fighter has a home with competing brands. Bottom line, this fight will break every financial record in the history of combat sports.
Ultimately, a demand of $100 million dollars is not far-fetched considering the amount of money this fight will earn. This is not a sign of fear but a sign of smart business. Arum is wrong in saying that Manny won’t get his share. Manny will get his share too, it’s just Arum and the rest of the parties involved won’t get as much as they would like and honestly, I don’t have a problem with that. Now, this author has questioned Floyd Jr.’s integrity and bravery and I will be the first to hold him accountable for his criminal activities, but in this case, it’s smart business. Why not demand $100 million for a fight that could easily earn $250 million in revenue? Besides, $100 million dollars will ensure a nice retirement for Floyd Jr. after Manny Pacquiao ends his career and his undefeated record.
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