On May 2nd 2015, the world’s eyes will turn to watch the richest fight in boxing history. With a predicted bounty of $150 million to Floyd Mayweather and $100 million to Manny Pacquiao, the revenues earned as a result of this monumental clash is set to break all record books in the sport. It is a given that this is the stand-out event of 2015, however, many are questioning whether or not this is indeed the greatest sporting event of this generation.
Money, Money, Money
The clash of the two most talented boxers in the world has almost been overshadowed by the financial inevitabilities that come with an event of this nature. Despite ticket revenue for the game reaching an incredible $40 million, the most significant revenues are supplied from elsewhere. The pay per view revenue for the event is expected to be somewhere between $100 million to $200 million, as it is expected that 3 million to 4 million sports fans will tune in to the two biggest boxing fans of their generation go head to head. Given that the fighters’ final income from the fight will be determined solely by the pay per view audience that the fight obtains, there will be a lot of leftover money with which the promoters, telecasters and sponsors to fight over.
Mayweather, who is self-promoted, will attain 60% of the ticket revenue for the fight, with Pacquiao’s promotion team in Top Rank, taking the remaining 40%. However, it is not only those who are directly associated with the fighters that will receive substantial paydays on May 2nd. The fight will mark the second time that HBO and Showtime come together to broadcast an event. The only previous telecast that the two broadcasting rivals have supplied was in 2002, when Lennox Lewis fought, and knocked out, Mike Tyson. The fight will not only make Floyd Mayweather the most highly paid sportsman of all time, but it will also finally enable Manny Pacquiao an opportunity to steal the welterweight championship from the currently undefeated champion of the world.
Football’s Finest or Boxing’s Best?
If the fight on May 2nd is to be one of the defining moments of our generation, it would have to conquer the relatively shadows that are set by the world’s most popular sports. For example, the 2014 football world cup in Brazil raised revenue of $4.826 billion. Despite the fact that this figure completely eclipses those that Mayweather and Pacquiao are set to receive, it is worth noting that FIFA must distribute this income amongst the players themselves, the host country and other officials that took part in the event. As such, in individual terms, it can be seen that the boxing fight will largely eclipse the amount that each individual footballing federation will receive. This is supported by the fact that the eventual winners of the tournament, Germany, received $35 million in winning bonuses.
Therefore financially, there is a definite case to be argued that one of the most anticipated fights in boxing history produces a certain shadow that the football world cup, as a tournament, tends to fall behind. On the other hand, it can be seen that almost 1 billion sports fans from around the globe tuned in to watch the 2014 football world cup final between Argentina and Germany. This, clearly, overshadows the amount of people that are expected to be watching the clash of Mayweather and Pacquiao on May 2nd.
This is perhaps due to the pay per view that is charged on the welterweight championship fight, as there were no charges put on the viewing of the FIFA world cup final in 2014. Therefore, there is perhaps an exclusivity about the accessibility of the fight itself, resulting in a greater audience being sacrificed for a greater revenue.
Inflation in Boxing?
It is clear that the event, taking place in Las Vegas will be one that won’t want to be missed. The relentless pressure that the fighters will be feeling is likely to make for an outstanding spectacle for viewers across the globe. However, it is plausible to believe that the large amounts of money that are being pumped into the sport of boxing ahead of this championship fight will only result in greater inflation in the sport, as has been experienced in other sports such as football and formula one. However, given that this event is the most hotly anticipated, avidly watched event in the sport, it may not be accurate to interpret the large amounts of money that is floating around the sport as being inflationary.
This is also because many fighters will not expect to have coverage of this magnitude for their fights. Given that the fight to be the champion of the world is the most well respected, well renowned title that a fighter can attain, it can be argued that officials don’t need to worry about the large figures that are being tossed around the sport ahead of this title fight.
What Can We Expect?
The argument that the meeting of the world’s two most highly rated boxers will be one of the greatest events of our generation is one that cannot be denied. The fact that the fight is set to take Floyd Mayweather to the dizzy heights of becoming the world’s most highly paid sportsman expertly reflects this. In addition, the fact that the event is unique and will only happen once perhaps separates it from other worldwide events such as the FIFA world cup final or the Olympics, that are held every four years.