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Mayweather vs Pacquiao: A $1 billion fight?

Mayweather vs Pacquiao: About billions!

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A report in the Daily Mail suggests that Bob Arum is working to put together a $1 billion fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, with pay-per-view in China serving as the key catalyst to come up with unheard of amounts of money for the much sought after superfight that has been mostly off the table since 2009, when the fight was first discussed.

Here's how the report breaks down the idea:

  • $5 PPV in China, which "(multiplied) by one-tenth of the Chinese population of 1.36 billion ... amounts to a phenomenal $650 million." Zou Shiming being featured on the card would actually be considered the driving force, as he's a superstar in China, with Arum claiming "hundreds of millions" watch his fights on TV there.
  • $95 PPV in the United States, with a target of three million buys, for about $300 million.
  • Site fee in Macau or Las Vegas, which without question would set an all-time record.
  • Worldwide TV rights bringing in huge money.
  • Closed circuit, merchandising, gate, the rest, and so on.
  • Potential purses: Mayweather $150 million, Pacquiao $100 million.

Now, you'll have to consider me skeptical that 136 million people will buy a $5 PPV in China. You'll also have to consider me skeptical that three million people will buy a $95 PPV in the United States. I know this fight is The Fight still, and I believe it would break records, but $95 is a huge ask of the blue collar boxing fan. The $70-80 we pay now is frankly a little absurd, all things considered.

Is there really a billion dollars in this fight? A BILLION? A BILLION?

Probably not. The highest-grossing PPV fight in history is Mayweather vs Canelo, which raked in about $150 million in pay-per-view. That's half of what they want from this domestically. That fight did a little under $20 million in gate revenue in Las Vegas, which was a record.

This fight is big, but A BILLION DOLLARS? This may be the most out there story yet concocted for the fight we'll never see.

Mayweather is expected to return on the first Saturday in May, while Pacquiao fights this Saturday in Macau against Chris Algieri.

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