The fight of the decade has arrived—unfortunately about a decade late.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have agreed to a May 2 welterweight bout in Las Vegas. The promoters expect the fight to generate at least a quarter-billion dollars. The fighters agreed to a 60-40 split, with the Filipino likely walking away with $80 million and the Michigander with $120 million.
“What the world has been waiting for has arrived,” Mayweather boasted on social media. “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, is a done deal. I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it!”
The fight comes after an acrimonious fight to make the fight. Mayweather’s feud with Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum and demands for stringent drug testing blocked the battle. So did the American’s contract with Showtime and the Filipino’s deal with rival HBO. Many speculated on Mayweather’s comfort level matching up against a southpaw. But the fight made dollars, so it ultimately made sense, particularly after Mayweather’s pay-per-view buys took a slide in his six-fight Showtime contract, which expires after two more bouts.
Mayweather, undefeated in 47 fights, left no doubt in all but his scraps against Marcos Maidana, Oscar De La Hoya, and Jose Luis Castillo. But the once unhittable Mayweather, who turns 38 next month, has proved hittable in recent bouts with Miguel Cotto and Maidana.
Pacquiao once fought as a mini-Mike Tyson, bringing explosive power to the lighter weight classes. But he hasn’t knocked out an opponent in over five years.
Despite their ages reaching senior-citizen status in ring years, the boxers still play among the elite practitioners of the sweet science. Fans will likely think better late than never, as the bout figures to challenge 2007’s Mayweather-De La Hoya superfight, which generated 2.4 million home buys, for the all-time pay-per-view title.
Mayweather enters as a near 3-1 favorite. A $100 bet on Pac Man pays off at $260 and a $295 bet on Money awards $100.