By Chris Williams: If Manny Pacquiao wanted to get an even split of a future revenue split in a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., he didn’t help himself with his numbers for his March 13th bout against Joshua Clottey. ESPN reported today that the Pacquiao-Clottey fight netted just 700,000 pay-per-view buys. That might be a decent number for a fight against a little known fighter like Clottey, but sadly they don’t compare to the numbers that Mayweather brought in with his 1 million PPV buys in his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez last September.
Mayweather came out on top in this one, and it looks like Mayweather will hit the jackpot again in his next fight against former pound-for-pound star Shane Mosley when they fight on May 1st. That fight could bring in as many as 3 million PPV buys, which would break the record set by Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya of 2. 4 million PPV buys in 2007. Pacquiao fought De La Hoya himself, but was only able to bring in a respectable number of 1.25 PPV buys, far less than the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight.
The reason this is important is because with Mayweather making the better numbers in PPV, he can use this as leverage to get a bigger portion of the revenue in a fight with Pacquiao. It would be crazy for him not to do this, and given his better numbers, it would seem crazy for Mayweather to accept a 50-50 deal. His better numbers would suggest that he’s the bigger PPV star, and therefore he should get the bigger money.
That’s just the way it is. Pacquiao and his promotional team could have made things better for him to have a bargaining tool with Mayweather by choosing a better known opponent than Clottey. That was a move that might have benefited Top Rank in the short term because they wouldn’t have to negotiate with another fighter from another promotional team, but it could make setting up a fight with Mayweather that much harder because Pacquiao didn’t get better numbers than him in his last fight.
It would have been smarter to seek out a better known fighter than Clottey for the March 13th bout. If this meant having to wait until someone was freed up, then that would have been the right thing to do to get the better opponent. Shane Mosley was supposed to be fighting Andre Berto, but Berto had to pull out because of an earthquake in Haiti.
If they had waited awhile, they could have snatched up Mosley for a fight. They also could have taken on someone like Paul Williams. He’s free and would have jumped at the chance. The same goes for Juan Manuel Marquez. He was available and would have likely put a fight between him and Pacquiao in the 1 million PPV neighborhood. However, we can’t know that because Pacquiao hasn’t fought Marquez since 2008, and that fight brought in only 400,000 PPPV buys. You could expect them to be higher now because Pacquiao is more popular now compared to then.