The May 2 megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao managed to live up to the hype in one regard: Like experts predicted, it shattered all previous pay-per-view records.
Yes, Axl Rose may have hated it, and if you lived in certain major metropolitan cities, you might not have gotten to watch it, but none of that stopped the MayPac fight from becoming the highest-grossing PPV event of all time, racking up more than 4.4 million buys and generating more than $400 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue, according to HBO and Showtime, the producers of the much-anticipated bout.
The welterweight unification fight nearly doubled the previous record of 2.48 million PPV buys – generated in 2007, when Mayweather took on Oscar De La Hoya – and nearly tripled the previous high mark for PPV revenue: $150 million, set by Mayweather vs. Alvarez in 2013. No wonder they call him “Money.”
When added to additional revenue generated from the live gate at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (more than $71 million alone, according to HBO and Showtime), international television distribution (the bout was show in 175 countries), sponsorships, closed-circuit receipts and merchandise sales, the fight is expected to top more than $500 million worldwide – a figure higher than the GDP of several island nations.
Of that total, more than $200 million will go to the winner, Floyd Mayweather, while Pacquiao will reportedly take home more than $140 million. And though it would probably benefit both parties to meet in the ring one more time, that might not happen – at least not according to Mayweather, who seems to think he has nothing left to prove, and that his former opponent is “a sore loser and a coward.” Never change, boxing.