According to Nevada State Athletic Commission chief Keith Kizer, if Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally set a date to trade punches and actually fight each other in the same ring, they’ll set records for the highest purse, gate and number of cable television paid viewers.
Problem? Kizer himself said he wasn’t aware of any talks between the two sides going down. Who’s representing Floyd Mayweather these days? We haven’t heard anything from Golden Boy, while 50 Cent and his best bud seem to be growing apart. Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao, under the careful watch of Bob Arum, is having talks with 50 Cent. About what? Just business.
The record for a fight in Vegas in both PPV numbers and the gate numbers is the De La Hoya – Mayweateher fight from 2007. Over 17,000 fans came to the MGM Grand Arena to watch the fight, bringing in a gate of $18.4 million. The PPV numbers were 2.7 million, still the record, heavyweight or no heavyweight involved.
For now, Pacquiao has his Juan Manuel Marquez fight to focus on. After losing to Bradley (not by his own fault) and generally looking less than impressive in his recent fights, including a close call against Marquez nearly a year ago, it’s better if he doesn’t think too much about future fights and future purses. Not beating Marquez will hurt his leverage position against Mayweather, who has remained awfully quiet since his release from prison.
Theory – He’s probably going to be heard once the Pacquiao – Marquez fight (December 8) draws nearer. He still has some sort of hunger left in him for boxing, and I honestly believe these two will meet in the ring eventually, a couple of years too late, maybe a bit more. Mayweather is just waiting to see the result of the Marquez fight to know what kind of position he is in financially going into the fight. Pacquiao already declared he’s willing to take the lower end of a 55-45 split.
That pretty much puts the ball in Mayweather’s court. If he refuses now, to this kind of offer, he’ll always be the one that avoided the fight. His legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time will take a hit, because he avoided, for about 3-4 years, the one fighter that seemed to pose a serious threat to him in the ring and in the pound-4-pound rankings. Pacquiao? He did what he could, at least that’s the popular perception, to make this fight happen.
Truth is, both men don’t deserve to set a record and make, once again, that much money. It all comes down to that, and you expect two people who have earned more than enough throughout their careers, to be willing to let go of their ego and partial greed to show that boxing is still about giving fans what they want, and not just about the amount of money they’ll see from the HBO PPV check.
Something in the tide is turning towards many believing this fight will actually happen, and when it does, it will set all the records. But after waiting for it this long, it kinda loses its meaning as a grudge match, as a decider between the two best fighters in the world, and for what it could have meant to boxing as a whole.