Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Manny Pacquiao Fight is On
After all the drama, the fight the world has been waiting for is finally happening on May 2nd.
Calling the Shots
Undefeated pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. made the official announcement on Friday afternoon via a social media platform called “Shots”. There was already speculation that the fight would be announced on Thursday and Mayweather was reportedly upset because Top Rank was “leaking” information.
Sources say that part of the contract stipulated that Mayweather would be the one to officially announce the fight at his chosen time, although he was “obligated to inform Top Rank when he would do it”. It was a classic Mayweather move though, as the Money Man loves to be in charge and calling the shots. This time around he called it via “Shots”, where he is an investor.
More than a thousand miles away in the Philippines, his opponent Manny Pacquiao has been keeping himself busy with his “other job” of being a professional basketball player in the first pro-basketball league in Asia called the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association). Pacman scored his first ever PBA point four days ago after going scoreless during the previous conference.
News of the fight’s official announcement drew cheers from Pacman’s camp, whose fighter had already agreed to all of Mayweather’s conditions way back in January, just so the fight will happen. Pacquiao even set a January 31st deadline for Mayweather, but the American champion refused to be pressured, and negotiated the bout in his own terms and convenient time.
Top Rank President Bob Arum was relieved when he heard about Money May’s announcement but said that making this fight wasn’t easy at all. First they had to agree to being the B-side of the negotiations, give Mayweather his 60-40 split, agree to his drug testing wishes and then wait for him for weeks. Then there was the TV network differences that was ironed out when HBO and Showtime agreed on a historic joint Pay-Per-View venture.
Initial reports have already pegged the PPV price at $89.95. But because of the renewed interest in the bout, it is expected to break all revenue records in boxing’s history, including the 2.4 PPV buys of Mayweather-De La Hoya in 2007 and the $150M PPV revenue and $20M gate receipts generated by Mayweather-Alvarez in 2013. Tickets for the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout sold out in 15 minutes.
Seven Figure Bets
As expected, Mayweather was the early favorite when the betting lines opened minutes after the bout was announced. He went as high as a -275 favorite in the Westgate Superbook and a low of -240 at William Hill. Wynn had Pacquiao a +220 while Superbook had the Filipino icon a +235 underdog.
Early betting has been light with 94% of the bets at William Hill were made on Pacman. But these were still the “small” bets with the highest being at $1,000. But that is expected to change very soon. With the magnitude of the fight, MGM Vice President of Race and Sports Jay Rood says they are expecting to take huge bets, seven figures. Mayweather’s May 2014 fight against Marcos Maidana raked in mid-six figures in handle. This one is expected to be four to five times bigger. Some bookies even believe this will be the biggest fight of their bookmaking career. For a fight that has been five years in the making, this one should be worth the wait.
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