Manny Pacquiao has agreed to terms to fight Floyd Mayweather. No surprise there; he needs Mayweather to make the biggest payday of his career and to give his career the ultimate relevance. Now it’s up to Mayweather to get on board to make the fight boxing enthusiasts have clamored for since 2009.
Mayweather should take the challenge, deliver a beating, collect around $150 million . . . and call it a career. He should bronze his unblemished gloves and not look back on boxing after the May 2 bout in Las Vegas, according to reports.
Next month, Mayweather will be 38, meaning he’s on the other side of his boxing prowess, meaning the more he fights, the more vulnerable he becomes to losing to a lesser fighter.
He has made around $350 million, and this with no endorsements. He has not lost in 47 bouts. Vanquishing Pacquiao would be the perfect cherry on top of a legendary career.
Significantly, his legend will be about more than beating every man who stood across the ring from him. Mayweather, for all his annoying brashness and bragging and “making it rain,” shifted the paradigm.
He took ownership of his career. He realized that he is the commodity and that a promoter making millions off his talent was not needed.
He realized that he was the draw and deserved the bulk of the gate and the pay-per-view subscriptions. And so, as four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said, “Mayweather flipped the script.
“Floyd cut all the middle people out. I’m not mad with him. I think about how much more money I could have made if I was more business savvy. He’s a good fighter, but he’s a really good business man. . . Here’s a guy everyone said was foolish. But he came up with a game plan on how to get the money you deserve.”
He deserves to live out his life with his faculties and legacy in place—not as a punch-drunk fighter who entered the ring too many times after his prime.
Financially, he certainly is in tremendous shape. For the proposed fight, a source told ESPN that Pacquiao has agreed to a 40 percent cut of the revenue, with Mayweather taking 60 percent. You cannot find anyone who does not believe a May 2 bout would not implode every boxing box office record, which includes the all-time pay-per-view buy record of 2.4 million. That was the Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight. The Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez match set the pay-per-view revenue record of $150 million and the all-time gate record at $20 million. This fight will eclipse all that.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), 36, has agreed to use the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which has randomly tested Mayweather (and his opponents) for years. That was purportedly a stumbling block in the fight not being made over the years.
That it could/should be Mayweather’s final bout will make it even bigger.