I guess you could classify me as a casual boxing fan. I'll watch some amateur boxing, PanAm games and Olympic Games' matches and I'll watch some of the big pro fights but that's about it. I did follow the lengthy storyline as the two best pound-for-pound fighters in recent boxing history, multi-weight division Champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, finally agreed to meet in the ring after squabbling for years over the terms of a fight to determine who the best really is or was or whatever. Mayweather's 38 years old and Pacquiao is 36.
Before trying to punch each other's lights out they, or their handlers, I should say, fought about the purse split, drug testing, location of the fight, gloves they were going to use etcetera, etcetera, before the negotiations were finalized and THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY was announced. I'm not so sure if "Fight of the Century" is such a big deal anyway as we're just fifteen years into this century but whatever it takes to sell tickets, I guess.
And they certainly did that. Sell the fight, that is. This fight is estimated to generate $400+ million dollars in revenue. That's right, $400 MILLION dollars!! Between the ticket sales to the 16,800 Rich and Famous people who could afford the ridiculous seat prices at the Las Vegas MGM Grand, the pay-per-view take, the merchandising, the sponsors and the international television rights the total revenue shattered all previous revenue levels in the sport.
Mayweather's nickname is, appropriately enough, "Money" and he is set to make...I don't even want to tell you...$180 million dollars. That figure, once again,$180 million dollars. For one fight. The match went the full twelve round distance so that's $83,333.33 per second of fighting. PER SECOND! Pacquiao's take is only $120 million dollars or a measly $55,555.55 per second.
In comparison, the boxer's single fight earnings is higher than the average professional sports teams, (National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League's), complete payrolls for the entire 2014-15 season. Every player for the whole year! Wow!
Here's some more perspective for you: Canada's average annual salary...that's average...mind you, is $48,600.00. For a whole year's work. We could pay the Prime Minister's salary, at today's level, for 916 years before we'd reach $180 million dollars. 916 YEARS! You could buy 6000, 2015 Cadillac CTS Sedans at the Manufactured Suggested Retail Price. You could pay 14,590 people a year's wages at Saskatchewan's minimum wage level of $10.20/hour. You could employ 3700 people for one year on Canada's average annual salary of $48,600.00..
You might also choose to buy 18,575,851 Fatburgers (Mayweather's favourite junk food), 10,588 Golden Apple Watches, 2-Goldstream G650 Private Jets, 450,000 magnums of Dom Perignon Champaign, or 1 Mars Megayacht (valued at 165M). You could also buy 3,600,000,000, (3 billion, 600 million), 5cent candies, too.
You can't really blame the combatants here, though, it's "Whatever the market will bear" as the free market lovers will tell you. If people are lining up to pay $100.00 per pay-per-view or a few hundred thousand dollars for a ring-side seat then what the heck? There's the justification.
But, along with the exorbitantly ridiculous gate split you throw in Mayweather's domestic violence record and, if it were up to me, he'd get maybe a year's wages at the minimum level and the rest of the proceeds would go to shelters for battered women. That's my two cents on that subject.
Then again, it's not really his fault either is it? Hitting women is his fault and he shouldn't have even been allowed to fight at all but he didn't let himself go with a slap on the wrist, did he? He's not the only high profile athlete to break the law and get away with it, either.
Personally, I don't think he should be living the high life that he is and nobody should be making a zillion dollars a fight while children are starving and hospitals and schools are underfunded and people are homeless and the list is endless but...that's just the messed up world we're living in, isn't it? Exasperating as it is.
"I know the world isn't fair, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?"-Bill Watterson, cartoonist (1958-).