Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will finally step into the ring on May 2 and stage what will be the most anticipated fight at least since Mayweather took on “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 — or perhaps since Mike Tyson challenged Lennox Lewis for the world heavyweight championship in 2002.
UPDATE 2/20: The announcement that the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was finally official came Friday via Mayweather’s social media sites.
“I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it! This is the signed contract from both fighters,” Mayweather wrote.
But fans had better start saving their pennies now, because while the fight will generate bigger paydays for the fighters than any boxing match in history, most of that cash will be generated by soaking the public with the highest pay-per-view price ever, according to reports in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.
The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao match will cost a cool $100 for the single pay-per-view live broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas — though technically the price point may be set at $99.95, to make it seem slightly less daunting.
UPDATE 2/20: According to a new report, the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao pay per view could cost as much as $110 for the high definition version of the broadcast. The broadcast will feature only two undercard fights for that price, plus the long-awaited main event, the Boxing News report says.
By comparison, the “Fight of the Century” in 1971, when Muhammd Ali faced Joe Frazier at New York’s Madison Square Garden, was broadcast live to movie theaters and other public locations via closed circuit TV, in an era before pay-per-view home viewing was widely available.
A ticket to the telecast of the first Ali vs. Frazier fight — which then, as now, was considered one of the most important events in any sport in United States history — cost just $15, with some theaters charging as little as $5 to see the historic fight telecast as it happened.
Granted, $15 in 1971 is worth a little less than $90 today. But $5 in 1971 is worth $30 today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In any case, the price is still less than the planned pay-per-view cost of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao — a fight that as of Friday, February 20, was still not certain to actually happen.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is also expected to shatter the pay-per-view revenue record set by Mayweather’s 2013 fight against rising Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. That fight sported a pay-per-view price of $75 for a high definition broadcast, or $65 for standard def, and it raked in nearly $150 million in revenue from fans who paid to watch the fight at home — though pay-per-view revenue also comes from sports bars that pay a significantly higher price to allow their patrons watch pay per view fights.
When Mayweather fought De La Hoya in 2007, however, the pay per view cost just $50, and that fight generated $137 million in PPV revenue, which at the time was also a record — breaking the previous high of $103 million set by the Lewis-Tyson matchup five years earlier. But the Lewis vs. Tyson bout cost $55 to watch on pay per view.
The proposed fight date of May 2 is rapidly approaching and both fighters have now actually signed a contract for the fight, putting Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao in position to set yet another pay-per-view record — thanks to the fans and their hundred-dollar bills.
[Image: Jason Merritt/Chris Hyde/Getty Images]