The richest fight in boxing history is getting richer by the day, as new estimates show Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s payoff for fighting Manny Pacquiao could be $180 million. Pacquiao gets the short end of the purse, but even that is expected to be well over $100 million by the time everything is tallied up.
Five years of waiting seem to have piqued demand for the one fight even casual fans of the sport want to see.
“For whatever it’s worth, the buildup over these years has certainly enhanced the fight,” promoter Bob Arum said. “Everybody knows about it now, even people who don’t follow boxing.”
Fans will have to pay a hefty price to see the May 2 welterweight title bout, especially those lucky enough to score a ticket inside the MGM Grand arena itself. Ticket prices there range from $1,500 in the upper deck to $7,500 at ringside — and only a small percentage of the tickets actually will be put on public sale.
Arum revealed that the gate at the MGM alone will be more than $72 million, obliterating the previous live gate record of $20 million in Nevada set by Mayweather’s 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez.
Though the MGM will provide some tickets for its biggest gamblers, Arum said even the celebrities who normally can get free tickets to sit ringside will have to pay full fare for the fight — if they can get tickets at all.