Mayweather-Pacquiao: The Money Behind the Fight of the Century



Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will face off Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in what is being billed as the fight of the century. Mayweather, 38, is undefeated at 47-0. Pacquiao, 36, has a record of 57-5-2. Mayweather is already the world’s richest athlete, taking in $105 million for two fights last year, according to Forbes, while Pacquiao earned $41 million in fight winnings.

Both men are about to become much wealthier. Mayweather, who has top billing, will take home 60 percent of the revenue from the fight. The most significant portion of that cash will come from pay-per-view sales; cable and satellite providers are charging $89.95 with an extra $10 for HD. The last blockbuster PPV fight — Mayweather’s 2007 bought with Oscar De La Hoya clocked 2.5 million sales. But expectations for this fight are significantly higher — anywhere from 3.5 to 4 million; 3.5 million buys would bring in at least $315 million. The majority of the PPV revenue will go to the fighters with cable and satellite providers taking 30 to 40 percent of the gross and HBO and Showtime splitting a nominal 7.5 percent.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, say sources, assumed the PPV revenue would hit $175 million and so negotiated a more favorable terms for his client; if revenue is between $160-$180 million, the winner will take 51 percent and the loser 49 percent. Anything above or below that line will be a 60-40 split in Mayweather’s favor.

The rest of the cash will come from gate receipts at the MGM Grand, which are expected to top out around $72 million as well as international broadcast sales ($35 million), closed-circuit broadcasts in bars ($12 million) and merchandise sales ($1 million).
All told, both fighters should pull in more than $100 million each.