Millions of eyeballs will be trained on television sets this Saturday as two of the most prolific boxers in the world finally step in to the ring for a fight that has been years in the making.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao is being billed as “The Fight of the Century” and the all the hype leading up to the fight is certainly helping it live up to its name.
The two men involved in the fight couldn’t be cut from more different cloth. Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., is best known for his absurd net worth (hence the nickname), cocky attitude, ever-present entourage, and his undefeated professional record. Manny Pacquiao hails from the Philippines, and in addition to being a world-class boxer, he is also a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, the head coach of a Filipino professional basketball team, and has even dabbled in acting.
Beyond the two fighters, there’s also hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in pay-per-view revenue. The fight will cost $90 to order in your home (closer to $100 if you want it in HD), and is expected to shatter pay-per-view records in purchases and revenue. For bars and restaurants planning to broadcast the fight, they’ll be paying a much higher price for the match and will have to be on the lookout for people hired by pay per view companies and the sports production firms that represent them who will be making sure bars and restaurants aren’t allowing more people in to watch the fight than they paid for.
Who do you think will win, Mayweather or Pacquiao? Why did it take so long for the fight to come together? What is the significance of this fight to the world of boxing? How much money stands to be made in pay-per-view sales? How are pay-per-view companies policing viewings of the fight? What steps are they taking to protect their own interest?
Lance Pugmire, boxing and MMA beat writer for the Los Angeles Times. He’s at Manny Pacquiao’s gym today.
Rick Horrow, sports business analyst and coordinator of the sports law & business program at the Harvard Business School.