With the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight deal now finally signed and boxing fans worldwide clearing their calendars for May 2, details of the protracted negotiations are leaking out — and among them the intriguing possibility that the superfight could have been held at 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The stadium, of course, was formerly known as Cowboys Stadium and is home to NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. But the Texas stadium has hosted boxing events before.
In fact, Pacquiao fought there twice, both fights occurring in 2010.
So why did the fight end up at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas instead? One simple reason — Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Mayweather, who has been careful throughout the negotiations that finally ended Friday to maintain his position as the “A Side” of the fight, insisted on calling all of the shots.
And reportedly, he simply had no interest in fighting in Texas. Instead, Mayweather preferred to stay close to home. The 37-year-old Grand Rapids, Michigan, native has made Las Vegas his home for many years.
Mayweather has fought his last 12 bouts in Las Vegas, and the Pacquiao fight will mark his 11th consecutive fight at the MGM Grand. Before that, Mayweather fought Carlos Baldomir at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and Zab Judah at the Thomas and Mack Center on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus.
Both of those fights were held in 2006. The last time Mayweather fought outside of Las Vegas was in 2005, when Mayweather fought three times — in Miami, Florida, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Portland, Oregon.
Since then, Mayweather has not only refused to fight outside of Las Vegas, but he has never fought more than twice in any single calendar year.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena seats fewer than 17,000 people.
But the last time Pacquiao fought in what was then Cowboys Stadium, when he defeated Antonio Margarito, he barely filled half the seats in the stadium, selling only 40,154 tickets, according to an ESPN. com report. The stadium was configured to hold only 50,000 that night, however.
Pacquiao’s previous fight in the stadium, against hard-punching Joshua Clottey, did slightly better, selling just over 41,000 tickets.
The heavily hyped Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, however, would have a much greater ticket sales potential. Though the stadium seats 80,000 for football, the NBA All-Star game drew more than 108,000 attendees at Cowboys Stadium in 2010.
The seating configuration around a boxing ring would presumably accommodate more seats than for a basketball court, meaning the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight might have sold 110,000 tickets if it were held in Texas, but due to Mayweather’s comfort with fighting in his adopted hometown the boxing world will never know.
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