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MAYWEATHER VS. PACQUIAO: THE RING EVENT OF THE YEAR 2010 (THIRD OF A SERIES)


PhilBoxing.com




"We're looking to make the biggest fight possible and everyone knows what that fight is, the little fella," Floyd Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN referring to Manny Pacquiao. "Floyd made it very clear to us what he wanted to do. He told us he is looking to make the biggest fight that is out there and to make it in May."

Stumbling blocks continued to haunt the Superfight and Mayweather has not stopped his demands that Pacquiao be blood tested. Pacquiao filed a legal action against Pretty Boy over allegations that he used prohibited drugs.

MGM Resorts, the owner of the MGM Grand, Mayweather's and Golden Boy's preferred venue, conducted a study to examine the expediency of an outdoor stadium with a larger crowd capacity. The study was entitled "Temporary Stadium Study," on February 7, one week after Mayweather announced at a Nevada Athletic Commission that he would clash with Cotto on May 5. The study considered a 10-acre lot on the southern end of Las Vegas Blvd. across from the Luxor Hotel & Casino that would have a capacity of 40,000 and could also be used for UFC fights, concerts and shows.

Before Mayweather announced his plan to fight Cotto and news were still circulating for a possible Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Ellerbe belittled the plans for a stadium when interviewed by Yahoo! Sports. He whooped the stadium plan "a bunch of baloney" and said "we're talking about a temporary venue out in the middle of a dusty parking lot with bleacher seating."

Bob Arum said the stadium would cost an estimated $20 million and would generate gate revenues for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight at between $50-60 million. Gordon Absher, the vice president of public affairs at MGM Resorts, reportedly believed that Las Vegas needs such a facility to host major events.

"The potential of a Pacquiao–Mayweather match-up highlights the need for a large capacity, 40,000-plus-seat stadium in our community," Absher was quoted by Yahoo! Sports. "But a once-in-a-lifetime boxing match is by no means the only such event that could be hosted there. MGM Resorts supports the concept of a multi-purpose, 50,000-seat stadium currently being discussed at UNLV."

Top Rank president Todd duBoef said that even if the stadium would earn roughly the same as the16,000-seat MGM Grand Garden, it would be worth to allow more people to witness the event live at the boxing arena. "I'd like to make that a special week and have it be a celebration of the sport," duBoef said. "And it could be a Festival of Boxing and be like the sport's Super Bowl. It would allow more people the opportunity to be a part of it."

The largest gate in boxing history was when Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Garden on May 5, 2007. That fight attracted 17,078 fans and generated a gate revenue of $18,419,2000.

Schaefer was dubious of the weather and noted that Clark County building codes would only allow a temporary structure to remain standing for a year, and it would be quite impossible to hold a rematch there.

The issue that is more pressing, though, is the money split, because Mayweather has repeatedly said he won't give 50-50 and Pacquiao at that time declared that he won't fight for anything less. After his May 5, 2012 win over Miguel Cotto, which earned 1.5 million pay-per-view buys and totalled $94 million, Mayweather said he would not agree to a 50-50 split of revenue.

HBO Sports president Ken Hershman believed the fight had "a short shelf life," and said if the bout wasn't made soon, it would be time to move on. Roach agreed, saying interest in the match may be starting to decline. "My fear is that we may have passed the point of no return," Roach said. "I don't get asked if the fight is going to happen as often as I used to. If they don't make this fight soon, it may no longer be relevant."

Larry Merchant was quoted by boxingscene.com: "Here a couple of points. First of all, Mayweather has earned a lot of money since the fight with Оscar De La Hoya. Secondly, I don't think he's afraid of Pacquiao. But I think for the first time in his life, Mayweather believes that he can go into a fight in which he is not absolutely sure of victory. He very carefully built his image on the fact that he had no injuries, although it has never mattered in boxing, and he used his dominance in boxing for the negotiations. Arguing that "if I have to fight with this guy, then I have to get the best."

We conclude this series by predicting that the Mayweather-Pacquiao Superfight, though had failed many times, is still bound to happen. And when the two most popular active fighters colllide, it will be a prelude to their retirement from prizefighting.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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