Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are the two biggest stars in boxing. Everyone wants to see a superfight before the two legendary fighters are past their prime or retire, whichever comes first. Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle in making the bout happen might also be the most important: money.
According to a report by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Mayweather is looking to collect two-thirds of the revenue from a bout with Pacquiao:
With the buzz for a potential super fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao once again reaching a fever pitch, there continue to be indications that the finances of this anticipated showdown will be a significant obstacle. According to a source close to Mayweather, if a Pacquiao fight were to happen, Mayweather would need to receive close to two-thirds of the revenue.
However, Mannix also notes that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum disputed that number:
In a telephone interview with SI.com, Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, disputed the number. Arum declined to discuss specifics of the split but said he has been in contact with CBS CEO Les Moonves this week — CBS is the parent company of Showtime, which has an exclusive deal with Mayweather — and that “based on my conversations, that is not accurate.”
After years of rumors about a potential bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao, it’s been brought to the forefront again. Pacquiao went so far as to call out Mayweather after defeating Chris Algieri on November 22, via George Willis of The New York Post:
“I think it’s time to make that fight happen,” Pacquiao said. “The fans really deserve that fight. It’s time to say yes, so people can prepare for early next year.”
Based on the buyrates for their recent fights, Mayweather wouldn’t be out of line to ask for the majority of the purse. His last bout, a rematch against Marcos Maidana, reportedly drew 925,000 buys, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.
By comparison, Pacquiao’s bout with Algieri reportedly drew the worst number of Pacman’s career as a main-eventer, per Rick Glaser:
Just looking at those two figures, Mayweather appears to be a bigger draw than Pacquiao at this point in their careers. Pacquiao did have the disadvantage of going against a fighter few casual boxing fans knew, though he’s not blameless for taking the bout in the first place.
Whether that means Mayweather should ask for twice what Pacquiao would get from a bout between them is another story. Mayweather has two fights left on his six-fight contract with Showtime and has said he plans to retire after fulfilling the deal in 2015.
If Mayweather stays true to his word, the sense of urgency to make a bout with Pacquiao happen should increase. As has been the case for years, it’s a question of whether the two sides can come to a reasonable agreement on money.