The numbers are in for Floyd Mayweather's win over Miguel Cotto and in case you missed them, they are big: 1.5 million pay per view buys and $94 million in revenue, making it the second highest grossing non-heavyweight pay-per-view event in boxing history, eclipsed only by Mayweather's record breaking 2007 showdown with Oscar De La Hoya. Tack on another $12 million raked in at the gates, and Mayweather-Cotto was a monster.
In the aftermath of Friday's announcement, some have suggested that those numbers prove that Mayweather is right to refuse to offer Manny Pacquiao a 50-50 split.
That would be wrong.
For all the talk of Mayweather's pay-per-view power, Pacquiao's numbers are fairly comparable. In 15 pay-per-views -- several of which were smaller shows put on by Top Rank early in his career -- Pacquiao has generated 9.9 million buys and an estimated $525 million in revenue. Mayweather has fought on pay-per-view nine times, generating 9.6 million buys and $540 million in revenue.
More importantly, Mayweather and Pacquiao are comparable draws
While Pacquiao's upcoming fight with Tim Bradley next month likely won't sniff 1.5 million buys -- Bradley is a huge underdog and an unknown on pay-per-view, whereas Cotto is widely considered the third biggest pay-per-view draw in the sport -- it doesn't change the widespread belief in the industry that individually, Pacquiao and Mayweather drum up the same level of pay-per-view interest. History is irrelevant; it's what kind of numbers each bring to the table now that matters.
Both are big at the box office, too. Mayweather-De La Hoya holds the Nevada record for the largest grossing gate ($18.4 million) while Pacquiao's fight with De La Hoya in 2008 comes in third ($14.4 million). Mayweather-Cotto was the ninth largest gate ($12 million), just edging Pacquiao-Marquez III ($11.7 million). Whereas Mayweather does a bigger gate, Pacquiao generally sells more tickets.
If Mayweather and Pacquiao went head-to-head, each would bring an individual strength. The flamboyant Mayweather's ratings on HBO's 24/7 are significantly higher than the more reserved Pacquiao, while Pacquiao is more popular in the foreign markets and would generate the lion's share of the revenue there.
In a fight that could generate north of $150 million in revenue, Pacquiao would be foolish to accept Mayweather's offer of a flat fee of $40 million. Mayweather's argument that Pacquiao is a $7 million fighter is inaccurate. While
Now, onto your e-mail ...
That's an opinion I hear a lot, Mike. Mayweather firmly believes that his undefeated record is proof of his greatness, while others (myself included) believe greatness is achieved by taking on the best. Which is why I have said it before and I will say it again: If Pacquaio and Mayweather don't fight, when it comes time to vote them into the Hall of Fame, I won't put either one of them on the first ballot.
In a 2,000 word story
I think Ward regrets saying that. Because you're right, Bute did exactly what Ward asked him to. I think Ward got a little cocky and put his foot in his mouth. Now, with Ward penciled in to fight Chad Dawson in the fall, we may not get Ward-Bute until 2013, if at all. It's pretty disappointing.