Pacquiao vs. Mayweather – 5 Key Questions
By Al Francis: For me, there are five key questions surrounding the proposed mega fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. It’s the biggest fight that could be made and to say it could be the most anticipated fight of the decade is not false hype. In my last article, I admitted defeat regarding my wrong prediction of the Pacquiao-Cotto fight, for this article I attempt to answer these five questions I have posed and in turn put myself on the line again with a couple more predictions! Hope you enjoy.
Where will the fight take place?
Well there have been many bids from various cities across the United States to host the event, which seems destined to end up in an outdoor stadium in front of a large paying crowd. The New Orleans superdome which would seat 70,000 for the event have made a bid, and former Clinton consigliere James Carville is attempting to have the tax waivered in order to bring the fight to the city. Texas is another option, as a lot of you may know there wouldn’t be any tax demands for the fight to be held there and the Dallas cowboy’s stadium would seat just over 100,000 for a boxing event. A Las Vegas group are also trying to compete with the larger venues by erecting a temporary outdoor stadium to hold 30,000 people. Various other venues are throwing their hat onto the negotiating table such as Yankee stadium in New York, the Staples centre and a venue in New Jersey. Ultimately, it’s too early to make an informed prediction, so I’ll just make an uninformed one and say the Superdome in New Orleans!
What will be the contracted weight?
Both Pacquiao and Mayweather’s last fights were scheduled as catch weight contests, however I’m sure this one will end up at the welterweight limit of 147 lbs. When Floyd failed to make his contracted weight of 144 lbs in the Marquez bout, I believe he was sending two messages; one to Manny Pacquiao implying he won’t be negotiating any catchweight bout, and the second being that he doesn’t have money issues (he had to pay $600,000 for this breach of contract). To address the latter point first, Mayweather’s $5.6 million IRS debt which was hanging over him all year was settled AFTER the Marquez bout, not before, now I don’t have access to Mayweather’s bank statements but this implies that he wasn’t in the best position to pay before the bout. Anyway, back to the point, I think Floyd will not budge on the weight demands for this one and the bout, no matter how negotiations progress on this front, will end up at the full welterweight limit of 147 lbs.
How much pay-per-view buys will the fight generate?
The current all time record in ppv numbers for any event of any kind is the 2.45 million people across America that paid to watch Mayweather box Oscar De La Hoya, the proposed Pacquiao-Mayweather bout can surpass that sum and at a stretch, it could even surpass the 3 million mark. Both fighters’ last fight each generated over a million buys, which is truly remarkable given the fact that many questioned whether boxing’s ppv market would survive with the retirement of De La Hoya, turns out boxing is doing just fine. The fight should generate 2.5-3 million buys, not to mention the various tv deals from other countries around the globe, for instance, in Britain, the fight could well reach 500,000 buys on sky box office.
How will the purse be split?
This one really is the great debate, other than who wins the actual fight, this is the question fans are debating over, and may well be the hardest stumbling block to overcome at the negotiating table. Each man wants the lions share, each man feels he deserves the lions share. An argument for each fighter can be made but for me the answer is simple. Floyd will argue that because his fight with Oscar was the best selling fight of all time, that he deserves the lions share, and Pacquiao, through his team will put forth the fact that Pacquiao’s last fight out sold Mayweather’s last fight. Two points come to mind. Firstly, Floyd’s bout with Oscar was viewed as a close fight whereas Manny’s was considered to be a mismatch in favour of Oscar, fans would rather see a fight in which they don’t know who is going to win as opposed to a fight where a big guy beats up a little guy (despite the fact that the Pacquiao-De La Hoya turned out to be a mismatch the other way round). Secondly, America was deeper into the recession by the time of Pacquiao’s ‘Oscar night’. For me, Pacquiao definitely deserves more, not by much, but the lions share nonetheless. But as we all know in this sport, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate and I just feel that Floyd’s ego will not allow him to play second fiddle, even on 51-49 terms. So my prediction is that the bout, after lengthy negotiations on the purse split will end up being a 50-50 affair.
In boxing we can all get caught up in the atmosphere of the big fight aftermath. For example, after the Mayweather-Marquez fight, I was of the belief that Floyd would beat Manny hands down, but after seeing the Pacquiao-Cotto fight I find myself hopping over to the other bandwagon by promptly changing my prediction to a win for Pacquiao. Realistically, my prediction will probably change a few times in the lead up to the proposed bout, but for the purposes of this article I might as well leave one in print right now. After seeing Pacquiao dismantle Cotto the way he did I just can’t bring myself to bet against him, dont get me wrong, Mayweather is a far more complete fighter than Cotto and brings a totally different style for Manny to deal with, but right now I just can’t see anyone beating Pacquiao. I can see Floyd really frustrating Manny with his great defence, there’s no doubt he’ll be the hardest to hit of Pacquiao’s recent opponents, but Manny’s speed should find the target often enough to gain a slight lead on the scorecards. At this early stage of the hype surrounding this fight, I’m picking Manny Pacquiao to win on points by a two or three point margin in what will be yet another career best win.
Well there you have it, if all my predictions come true, you’ll see Pacquiao out point Mayweather at 147 lbs in the richest fight in history at the New Orleans Superdome with both fighters taking a 50-50 split of the purse. As I said before, my fight prediction will probably change in the lead up to the eventual showdown, so expect another piece or two from me in the coming months. What I won’t do however, is post article after article about the same subject like some of the site’s writers do. One focuses on the super six, one focuses on Khan, Pacquiao and Hatton, and another is just exclusively about Pacquiao, I don’t want to go down that road so I’ll cover at least a few other topics in the meantime. So that’s it for now, to quote an overweight writer/tv pundit, adios!
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