The biggest losers were the fans, but if we are talking about money, it is very clear who the winner and loser was. From a legacy standpoint it would have surely enhanced Mayweather and Pacquiao’s careers, but from a business standpoint Mayweather has been the clear winner.
Showtime Networks announced Thursday that the previous Saturday’s fight between Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez generated a record $150 million in pay-per-view revenue, breaking the record of $136 million for Mayweather’s 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya. The Mayweather-Canelo fight at the MGM Grand Arena also set a record for largest gate for a boxing match ($20 million) and and Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, says the fight will exceed $200 million in total revenue when all revenue streams are counted.
But a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would have generated much, much more. Three years ago the split between Mayweather and Pacquiao would have been roughly 50-50 for a fight that would have likely grossed more than $250 million, given Mayweather-Alvarez did over $200 million. After taking out the cut for the pay-per-view carriers, I figure Pacquiao and his camp lost about $100 million in earnings.
The $100 million is subjective, but in laymen terms Mayweather was able to find someone close enough in star power (Canelo) and a network (Showtime) to make up the majority of the money he didn’t make from a Pacquiao fight.
Pacquiao on the other hand is still under a promotional contract with Top Rank and simply doesn’t have the freedom to make as much money. Multiple reports says he often takes advances from Top Rank and has to pay them back with interest.
Pacquiao made $25 million (nothing to sneeze at) for fighting Juan Manuel Marquez the 4th time (when he got knocked out) and Mayweather made $40+ million fighting Robert Guerrero.
Pacquiao will make $18 million fighting Brandon Rios in China, while Mayweather at minimum received $42 million for the Canelo fight and that number may rise closer to $100 million once all the revenue is counted.
So, maybe Pacquiao didn’t lose $100 million, but he has never found an opponent that came close to making him the money that he could have made fighting Mayweather.
All of this isn’t Pacquiao’s fault of course, Bob Arum was always going to be a sticking point because Mayweather just doesn’t want Arum making any money off him.
As I said right at the beginning the fans were the biggest losers and even if they do fight at some point down the road, it won’t be the same, so we can only imagine what could have been.