Why Floyd Mayweather Would Be Absolutely Insane Not To Fight Pacquiao
Earlier this week, Manny Pacquiao agreed to battle Floyd Mayweather in the fight boxing fans have been waiting years to see. Since both rose to the top two spot in the world late last decade, everyone has begged for this bout that would “save boxing.”
All that’s missing is the consent of the most famous and controversial active boxer, Floyd Mayweather, still undefeated after 47 professional bouts.
At this time, given the agreed terms and the career arc, it would be professionally foolish and personally cowardice if he didn’t agree.
He gets the biggest payday in the history of sports.
It’s well-documented that Floyd Mayweather is a very wealthy man from his boxing exploits, and he isn’t afraid to show it. Mayweather consistently heads Forbes’ highest-paid pro athlete list, despite “working” just two nights a year.
He may not be so intrigued by the specific size of the guaranteed purse, but more by the chance to break his record from the Alvarez fight in 2013. He made $75 million off the well-promoted fight where he dominated the young Mexican. That fight set the PPV revenue mark at $150 million for Showtime.
Pacquiao has ceded the lion’s share of the purse to his opponent in a 60/40 split of all revenues.
Despite the two being represented by different networks, as Pacquaio still fights on HBO after Mayweather left for Showtime years ago, the two should co-present the PPV, which will probably cost $100 per purchase.
Forbes has suggested the Mayweather take from the fight, win or lose, could be up to $120 million, which would be over 25 percent of his career earnings.
Mayweather will headline the biggest fight in decades.
What makes Floyd Mayweather so polarizing is his supreme confidence, ability to command a stage and draw a visceral from fans, positive or negative.
When he started the media tour for his rematch with Marcos Maidana in New York, thousands came out in the summer heat to Times Square on a Monday to see the two in the flesh.
Mayweather’s fans outnumbered Maidana’s over two to one, filling the air with the call-and-response, “Hard Work-Dedication” that unifies The Money Team. His ego and presence overshadow his 147-pound body and shorter frame.
Mayweather lives for these moments and knows how to conduct these media maelstroms. He stole the show at Wrestlemania XXIV by defeating The Big Show, stunning a man who outweighed him three-fold in a very entertaining fight and build up.
Since defeating Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, he has been the headliner of boxing and defeated every great and mediocre name who followed him on the marquee. Pacquaio has the star power to rival Mayweather, and the two fan bases have quarreled for years over who is superior.
The sport has lost mainstream focus since the fall of Mike Tyson and the rise of other sports like MMA. Great fighters demand great rivals (like Ali and Frazier, Leonard and Hagler), who finally meet and have the bouts that withstand the test of time.
Despite the long wait, these two are capable of meeting the lofty expectations set by the hype. While the money may be 60/40, look for the attention to go 75/25 or so in favor of Mayweather.
The deck is stacked in favor of Mayweather.
The bout has been delayed due to various conditions of the fight. Mayweather has most, if not all, of his contractual terms agreed to, from the drug testing to the gloves used, things that seem to mean more than the money.
Just getting a powerful man like Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, to budge off those stances he held for years is a major victory itself. Those conditions give him a huge mental edge entering the ring.
The Vegas books have already installed Mayweather as a heavy favorite, -350 on the money line at Bovada (fans would have to bet $350 to win $100).
While Pacquiao struggled in fights the last couple years, Mayweather remains an amazing in-ring general.
Time has sapped the strength from the Filipino powerhouse who won so many bouts with heavy punches, while the undefeated legend can dance away from jabs before striking effectively.
Purists decry Mayweather’s refusal to stand in, something he might have to do against Pacquiao, but those who love Floyd love to see him duck and slide away from danger.
Time is running out.
The one opponent boxers never defeat, Father Time, has lost more than a few rounds to Mayweather.
Mayweather claims the current contract with Showtime that expires after two more fights will end his career. He could certainly end it with two easy wins and retire undefeated as the greatest fighter of his day.
However, despite all the money and success in business, the nagging whispers will echo through his Nevada estate, “What about Manny?”
At this point, he has all the cards in his hand and would never escape the questions and controversy if he didn’t take this fight to find out who’s the better boxer.
All we want is the answer, which won’t come unless he signs the deal for the biggest fight in our lifetimes.
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