MONEY Sports

The Huge Money Behind Boxing’s Big Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight

The buildup to the May 2 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match in Las Vegas may wind up being viewed in retrospect as hype. But the colossal pile of cash being made from the fight is very real.

Floyd Mayweather couldn’t have a more appropriate nickname: Money. His upcoming match against Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao on May 2 in Las Vegas is not simply being billed as the “Fight of the Century.” It’s also heralded as “the richest single occasion in the history of the sport” because of the astonishing amount of money that it will generate.

“To put it lightly, it’s complete mayhem—the demand for tickets, hotel rooms, transportation and nightclub VIP tables,” the owner of one Vegas luxury concierge service told the Las Vegas Sun. And the money and mayhem spread well beyond Sin City, as these figures attest:

 

  • #1, #11

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) exchanges punches with Robert Guerrero (not shown) in a WBC welterweight title fight in Las Vegas on May 4, 2013. At right, in a Nov. 12, 2011 photo, Manny Pacquiao exchanges punches with Juan Manuel Marquez (not shown) during a WBO welterweight title fight in Las Vegas. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are about to face off at the MGM Grand in the most anticipated fight in recent times.
    Isaac Brekken—AP

    Ranking of Mayweather (pro career boxing record: 47-0) and Pacquiao (57-5-2), respectively, on Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list, with Mayweather recently earning $105 million per year and Pacquiao pulling in $41 million purely from fight earnings, not endorsements.

  • $20

    150428_EM_BoxingNumbers_MoheganSun
    Christian Heeb/laif/Redux—laif/Redux Mohegan Sun Casino, Connecticut

    Price of admission for a viewing party of the night’s boxing matches at the Mohegan Sun in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. The Mohegan Sun in Connecticut is charging $35 for entrance to a viewing party in its 5,300-seat ballroom. At last check, tickets were already sold out at both venues via TicketMaster, and general admission prices—for watching boxing on TV, remember—have been listed at $70 to well over $200 at secondary resale sites such as StubHub.

  • 60-40

    WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. works out at the Mayweather Boxing Club on April 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    John Gurzinski—AFP/Getty Images WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. works out at the Mayweather Boxing Club on April 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    The revenue split between the boxers, with the lion’s share going to the undefeated Mayweather. Both Mayweather and Pacquiao could earn over $100 million apiece from the fight.

  • 74

    Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, pose for photos during a news conference, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Los Angeles. The two are scheduled to fight in Las Vegas on May 2.
    Jae C. Hong—AP Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, pose for photos during a news conference, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Los Angeles.

    Combined age of the two fighters—Mayweather (38), Pacquiao (36)—leading to complaints that the match is taking place when both combatants are well past their primes.

  • $90

    Comcast service center
    iStock

    The pay-per-view price for getting to watch the fight at home, via Comcast and other providers. That’s for standard-definition viewing. Depending on your operator, it might cost $10 extra to see the match in HD. It’s the most expensive pay-per-view fight ever; previously, the priciest PPV boxing match was $65 for Mayweather’s 2013 fight against Canelo Alvarez.

  • 100

    Manny Pacquiao, aged 17, training at LM Gym in Manila.
    Gerhard Joren—LightRocket via Getty Images Manny Pacquiao, aged 17, training at LM Gym in Manila. Manny ran away from his impoverished home at the age of 14 in order to lessen the burden on his mother, who was raising six children alone in General Santos City in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. He found work in Manila in warehouses and construction sites but drifted back to his great love, boxing. He turned pro in 1995 when he was 16 — and a light flyweight at just 106 lbs. In 2008 he bought the building he had trained in, had it torn down and built a 7 story modern complex, with a boxing gym, recording studio, billiard room, and a dormitory.

    Amount, in Phillipine pesos, that Manny Pacquiao earned in boxing matches as a boy in his native country. That translates to roughly $2.25 in US dollars today.

  • 100

    Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) arrives in his Bugatti for a work out at the Mayweather Boxing Club on September 2, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    Eric Jamison—Getty Images Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. arrives in his Bugatti for a work out at the Mayweather Boxing Club on September 2, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Number of cars purchased over the years by Floyd “Money” Mayweather at a single car dealership in Las Vegas. Mayweather has bought 16 Rolls-Royces and three Bugattis, the latter of which cost at least $2 million apiece. The dealership says he pays for his cars in cash, sometimes carted in with duffel bags.

  • 500

    The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is packing Las Vegas on what already is usually a huge gambling weekend. Lots of businesses are predicting record hauls, including secondary ticket sellers, hotel companies, casinos, restaurants, bars, and the state's legal brothels.
    John Locher—AP The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is packing Las Vegas on what already is usually a huge gambling weekend. Lots of businesses are predicting record hauls, including secondary ticket sellers, hotel companies, casinos, restaurants, bars, and the state's legal brothels.

    The frustratingly small estimated number of tickets that was actually available for sale directly to the public, according to Yahoo. Tickets only went on sale as of Thursday, April 23, and the vast majority went to ticket brokers, who could mark them up and sell them at prices far higher than face value. Unsurprisingly, sketchy ticket scams promising seats to the match on speculation began surfacing months ago, even though nothing was officially on sale until very recently.

  • $1,500 to $10,000

    MGM Grand Las Vegas
    Shannon Keene—501 Studios MGM Grand Las Vegas

    Range of face value ticket prices to see the fight in person at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

  • $1,600

    MGM Grand Las Vegas Grand King Room
    Shannon Keene—Levi Ellyson, LLC MGM Grand Las Vegas Grand King Room

    The minimum room rate at the MGM Grand on the weekend of the fight. Soon after the fight date was announced, rates at the host site rose $900 to $1,000 per night. In fact, all hotels in Las Vegas are charging a huge premium for rooms during the weekend. For instance, the Wynn Las Vegas was offering rates of $950 on rooms that normally cost $250, while the low-budget Circus Circus, normally available for under $60, was charging $284 per night. The vast majority of hotels in the area are requiring a two-night stay as well.

  • $100,000

    A general view of the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    Ethan Miller—Getty Images A general view of the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    The estimated price that top seats to the match could command on the secondary market.

  • $74 million

    An advertisement for a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is seen on a screen as people wait to check in at the MGM Grand Friday, April 24, 2015, in Las Vegas. The fight is scheduled to take place May 2 at the hotel and casino.
    John Locher—AP

    Revenues expected just from ticket sales to the fight—an amount that trumps the most recent Super Bowl ($60 million) even though the football venue held four times as many seats.

  • $80 to $100 Million

    Las Vegas Hotel & Casino sports book
    Rosa Irene Betancourt—Alamy Las Vegas Hotel & Casino sports book

    Total amount that gamblers are expected to bet at Nevada sports books on the fight.

  • $400 Million+

    A woman poses in front of a poster of Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao at a store in Manila. Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears.
    Noel Celis—AFP/Getty Images A woman poses in front of a poster of Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao at a store in Manila. Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears.

    Estimated amount of total revenues the fight will generate, including sponsorships and pay-per-view and foreign licensing fees.

  • Priceless

    Déjà Vu Showgirls strip club
    Jon Freeman—Rex/Newscom

    Value of the prize being offered to the winner of the boxing match by a Las Vegas strip club. The club has promised that the victor of the fight will receive “Free Couch Dances for Life,” plus a $500,000 Dom Perignon package and a topless “foxy boxing” match held in his honor. Four strippers are ready to get the winner’s name tattooed on their bodies as well.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE MONEY.COM!

Dear MONEY Reader,

As a regular visitor to MONEY.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The MONEY Team