The Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Manny Pacquiao mega fight generated an eye-watering $400-million in United States revenues fuelled by more than 4.4-million pay-per-view buys, making it the highest-grossing fight in boxing history, organisers announced Tuesday.
The welterweight world championship showdown, which Mayweather won by a unanimous decision, may have failed to live up to its hype in the ring, but it did meet the goal of becoming the richest fight in boxing history.
It nearly doubled the previous record of 2.48-million buys from a 2007 Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight and also crushed the record by more than three times for a live boxing gate, American cable networks Home Box Office and Showtime Networks said in a joint news release. It generated more than $71-million from the sale of 16 219 tickets at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino for a fight between boxing’s two biggest stars that was five years in the making.
The previous record for a live gate was $20-million for Mayweather’s 2013 fight at the MGM’s Grand Garden Arena against Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez. That fight also held the record for US pay-per-view revenue at $150-million.
Organisers said on Tuesday that by the time they add up all the revenue from overseas pay-per-view buys, close circuit, sponsorship money and merchandise sales that the fight’s gross revenues would top $500-million.
Retirement close for Pacquiao
Pacquiao made a low-key return to the Philippines on Wednesday after losing his mega fight with Mayweather and said retirement was drawing closer as he recovers from a shoulder surgery.
Few signs of Pacquiao’s early-morning arrival were visible at Manila airport and he was later welcomed by modest crowds as he paraded the capital on the back of a flatbed truck.
It was very different from previous joyous homecomings for the eight-weight world champion and congressman, whose fights bring the Southeast Asian country to a standstill.
A smiling Pacquiao, his right arm supported by a black sling, told reporters he hadn’t yet decided on his future after his May 2 defeat by a unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
“I will focus first on healing my shoulder. After that, I will announce continuing my career or announcing retirement,” Pacquiao said.
“I’m not saying I am going to retire, but it’s near. I’m already 36, turning 37 this December.”
Pacquiao said it could take six months to recover from the operation on his torn rotator cuff, which he underwent days after what was billed as the “Fight of the Century”.
Mayweather called Pacquiao a “sore loser” for blaming the injury for his defeat, and the Filipino is facing a lawsuit, which claims he fraudulently concealed the problem. – AFP