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Pay Pals

March 02, 2015
March 02, 2015

Table of Contents
March 2, 2015

INBOX
KYLE WILTJER
DAYTONA 500
NFL
  • Every year NFL prospects, coaches, GMs and insiders descend upon Indianapolis, and what unfolds—on the field, at the podium, in the lobbies and the bars—is the foundation of a new season. Here are SI's eight biggest takeaways from the 2015 combine

NHL
  • The Predators have bet big and lost before. (Peter Forsberg, anyone?) But their latest and riskiest gamble—on troubled center Mike Ribeiro—has them positioned for something never seen in Nashville: a long playoff run

GIANCARLO STANTON
  • Jeffrey Loria knows big-ticket collectibles, but the Marlins' owner and notable art dealer outdid himself when he gave Giancarlo Stanton the biggest contract in sports history. Baseball's best power hitter could have gotten paid anywhere—so why did he take the Marlins' money?

MINOR LEAGUE HOOPS
Departments

Pay Pals

Why Floyd-Manny happened

After six years, a handful of failed attempts and endless rhetoric, Floyd Mayweather, 37, and Manny Pacquiao, 36, boxing's two biggest stars, have reached an agreement to square off. The date: May 2. The site: The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The stakes: officially, three pieces of the 147-pound title; unofficially, bragging rights as the best fighter of this generation.

This is an article from the March 2, 2015 issue Original Layout

What ended the impasse? The pool of marketable opponents is evaporating. In seven bouts from 2008 to '11, Pacquiao averaged 1.1 million pay-per-view buys; in his five since, he eclipsed 1 million once. Mayweather has more buys (14.2 million) than any fighter, but three of his last four fights have failed to break a million. Mayweather-Pacquiao is expected to surpass the single-fight record for buys (2.4 million) and revenue ($150 million) and double Nevada's live-gate mark ($20.7 million). "The interest will be incredible," says Arum. "It's five or six years of Super Bowls all wrapped into one fight."

PHOTOROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MAYWEATHER)PHOTOROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PACQUIAO)ILLUSTRATION