By Alston H Borrel
Money may not be the only factor preventing the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight from happening, although it may well come down to the fact that Pacquiao’s pride will not allow him to accept anything less than a 50/50 purse split with Mayweather.
Mayweather, on the other hand, is unwavering in his stance of a 60/40 purse split, and may have a good case for reducing that amount to a 70/30 purse split, now that Pacquiao suffered that recent loss against Timothy Bradley.
Losses tend to diminish a fighter’s marketability and bargaining power. Thus, the reason Manny Pacquiao is being very careful and deliberate in choosing his next opponent because another loss would be detrimental to his future earning power.
Floyd Mayweather’s hand is further strengthened by the fact that he is the WBC Welterweight and WBA Light Middleweight Champion while Manny Pacquiao currently holds NO Championship Belt — Champions putting their title at risk, usually demand and get the lion’s share of the purse.
Then, there is the matter of their records. Mayweather would be of the notion that he is the true Champion and deserving of “Star Treatment” because during his 43 fight career, he has zero losses on his record, while in Pacquiao’s 60 fight career, he has won 54 times loss 4 times and drew 2 times — Pacquiao will undoubtedly not see it this way and demand equality in every aspect.
Also, still to be resolved is the issue of Olympic Style Random Drug and Urine Testing. Mayweather is quoted as saying “If you the best take the test. And let’s give the fans what they want to see: Mayweather/Pacquiao.” And indeed, along with Mayweather himself, all of his recent opponents such as Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, and Miguel Cotto have subjected themselves to Olympic Style Random Drug and Urine Testing. For unknown reasons, it remains doubtful whether Pacquiao will submit himself to such testing, without imposing conditions which deviate from Olympic Style Drug and Urine Testing protocol like cutoff dates.
Additionally, there is the question of Mayweather’s pay-per-view power. In November 2009, Manny Pacquiao fought Miguel Cotto and generated 1.25 million pay-per-view buys earning $70 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue and $8,847,550 in live gate receipts. In May 2012, Floyd Mayweather fought said Miguel Cotto and brought in 1.5 million pay-per-view buys earning a whopping $94 million in domestic PPV revenue and $12 million in live gate receipts. That Mayweather fight was the second highest grossing non-heavyweight pay-per-view event in boxing history, surpassed only by Mayweather’s record breaking 2007 encounter with Oscar De La Hoya which did 2.4 million pay-per-view buys.
Finally, Mayweather would undoubtedly feel that selling the fight to the public via the media would all fall on his shoulders. The colorful Mayweather’s ratings on HBO’s 24/7 are drastically superior to that of the more reserved Pacquiao, who sometimes struggles with communicating his thoughts in English.
For all the above reasons I see Mayweather not budging off his position of at least a 60/40 purse split with Pacquiao and I see an equally stubborn Pacquiao entrenched in his position of at least a 50/50 split.
Does Floyd Mayweather Jr. have a case for a majority purse split against Manny Pacquiao? Considering all the aforementioned arguments in his favor, I think so. But that’s not bad for Manny Pacquiao either, because whether he ends up getting a 30/70 or 50/50 purse split, Pacquiao couldn’t match the numbers he’d get against Mayweather with anybody fighting in his weight class today.
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