The “Fight of the Century”

The highly anticipated boxing match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao has been finalized to take place on May 2, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Publicized as the “Fight of the Century,” this boxing match is predicted to be the highest grossing fight in history, doubling the previous gate in boxing history. The previous one was $20 million for the fight between Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez in September of 2013, billed as “The One.” Four titles are on the line, the unified WBA, WBC, WBO, and The Ring Welterweight Title.

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Fans Demand Encounter

Mayweather holds a record of 47-0 at 5 ft. 8 in. and is known for an orthodox boxing style, compared to Pacquiao who holds a record of 57-5-2 at 5 ft. 6.5 in and known for a southpaw boxing style. They both weigh in at 147 pounds.

Mayweather had announced his retirement on June 6, 2008, six months after defeating Ricky Hatton. At the time of his retirement announcement, Mayweather was 31 years old and held 39 wins and 0 losses. The Ring magazine had ranked him as the number 1 pound for pound fighter in the world at the time of Mayweather’s retirement, and Manny Pacquiao held the number 2 spot.

After Mayweather’s retirement announcement, Pacquiao quickly rose in popularity in the western world with his victory over Oscar de la Hoya. Pacquiao’s victory elevated him from lightweight to welterweight. Shortly after, on May 2, 2009, Mayweather announced that he would return to the professional boxing scene and fight Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez at the time was the The Ring lightweight champion and number 2 pound for pound fighter. Mayweather and Pacquiao quickly rose to fame in the professional boxing scene and fans began to demand a Mayweather-Pacquaio fight even though the fight had yet to be made.

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Negotiations for the Epic Fight

The first signs of negotiation for a fight between Mayweather and Pacquaio was in the end of 2009, when ESPN reported that Pacquiao had signed a contract to fight Mayweather in March of the following year. However, Pacquiao denied ever signing such contract. The fight was expected to be the largest grossing fight in history, with total revenues predicted to reach $300 million. The venues that were discussed to host the fight were the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the Superdome in New Orleans, and the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. However, after complications between both sides over terms for drug testing, Top Rank, which represented Pacquiao, called off the fight.

After the first negotiation for a fight between the two highly respected boxers failed, negotiations recommenced during the middle of 2010. However, the negotiations failed once again, as there was miscommunication between both parties. Team Pacquiao had laid out the terms acceptable to their side, but Team Mayweather was never updated with the terms of negotiations. Disputes between both sides continued throughout 2011, 2012, and 2013. Pacquiao gradually agreed with stricter random drug testing terms, but Mayweather disagreed with the revenue split from the match. Mayweather offered to pay Pacquiao a flat fee of $40 million USD under the condition that Pacquiao would not be allowed to share the revenue. Pacquiao declined the offer and reported that he was willing to split 55-45.

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Deal Finally Struck

Towards the end of 2014, Mayweather proposed for a fight with Pacquiao on May 2, 2015. After 5 long years of negotiation, Pacquiao finally agreed to the terms for the fight on January 13, 2015. The two renowned boxers met each other for the first time on January 27, 2015 during an NBA game in Miami, Florida between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat. Shortly after the basketball game, the two future Hall of Famers exchanged phone numbers and met at Pacquiao’s hotel to discuss remaining issues. The highly anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao was finally officially announced on February 20, 2015 to take place on May 2, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The “Fight of the Century” is producing historical pricing levels that are expected to begin at $1,000 and ringside seats at $5,000. If the ticket prices follow the predictions, the total gate will result in around $40 million for the 16,800-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena. Few tickets will wind up available to the public, as MGM Grand, sponsors, promoters, and the fighters are claiming many of the tickets before they even go on sale. Online sellers have a few seats available for grabs, but the prices are outrageous. The cheapest seat is listed for approximately $4,000 with a median price of approximately $9,000. Floor seats start at a ridiculous price of over $20,000. The MGM sold out the hotel for May 2nd and surrounding nights of the big fight. The long-awaited fight is quickly approaching, so boxing fans start saving your money if you plan on attending or even getting pay-per-view to this once-in-a-lifetime event.

-Brian Chen(bchen)

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