Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently announced on Instagram that he would come out of retirement to take on WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in a rematch of their 2015 fight; an event that set the all-time record for PPV buys (4.6 million). The 41-year old fighter, who collected more than $750 million in career earnings, vowed his return would result in “another nine-figure payday” (he made $220 million from the 1st fight). Mayweather-Pacquiao II has been tentatively scheduled for December in Las Vegas.
Howie Long-Short: The September 15th PPV boxing rematch between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin did 200,000 fewer buys (1.1 million) than the 1.3 million reported for their 2017 fight, but Golden Boy (promoter) said in a statement (they aren’t releasing the overall figures) that between “a terrific gate, a very successful linear PPV buy rate and an explosion in digital PPV sales” the 2nd fight “was a more successful event (financially) than its predecessor.” That’s because despite the decline in PPV buys and a $4 million drop in gate receipts (to +/- $23 million), the cost to buy Alvarez-Golovkin II on PPV rose 13% this time around (to $84.99).
While Mayweather and Pacquiao are marquee names, Canelo and GGG are far better fighters at this point in their careers. If their rematch (priced at $84.99) did just 1.1 million buys, it’s unreasonable to expect Mayweather-Pacquiao II to draw bigger numbers at a higher price point. It’s possible that the event could generate 9-figures (the first fight did $400 million in gross sales), but I don’t see how Mayweather is walking away with “another nine-figure payday.” If Mayweather takes home 50% of gross revenues, he’s going to need +/- 1.65 million PPV buys at $100/per (assume: sponsorships are worth +/- $10 million, gate receipts are worth +/- $25 million). You quickly realize there’s no chance the event hits that figure when you consider his last bout (not counting the exhibition against McGregor), against Andre Berto, drew less than 600,000 buys.
Fan Marino: I’d explain you why Mayweather/Pacquiao II is a sham, but Bob Arum (Mayweather’s former promoter) said it perfectly, it’s “two old men fighting for a payday because they think the public is gonna throw ‘em millions of dollars.” Don’t waste your money buying Mayweather/Pacquiao II when you can buy the Dec. 1st PPV card featuring Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury.
Interested in Sports Business? Sign-up for our free daily email newsletter list, here!