When Ali took on Frazier, it was dubbed as “The Fight”; when Sugar Ray Leonard took on Thomas Hearn, it was “The Showdown”; and much like these previous legendary bouts, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is sure to be promoted as one of the greatest fights in the history of boxing. The fight is set for May 2nd at MGM Grand, home to Mayweather for the past seventeen years.
The fight was first discussed for 2010, but never occurred due to promotional and network conflicts. (It was allegedly cancelled because of Pacquiao’s refusal to accept needle drug testing.) But this time around, HBO and Showtime have finally come to terms, much like in their co-promotion of Tyson vs. Lewis. To many historians, analysts, and fans, the fight is five years late. But while both fighters are past their prime, the interest and revenue that this fight will generate will surpass any record by a wide margin. Pay-per-views buys are estimated to exceed three million, and Mayweather and Pacquiao will earn 120 million and 80 million dollars, respectively. The gate is likely to top 40 million dollars. With demand so high, the price of PPVs and tickets will be outrageously expensive. History will determine whether the fight will live up to all the drama and hype that it has generated.
For years, Mayweather has been accused of ducking top competition, but this fight will give him the opportunity to clear his name and cement his legacy as one of the greatest welterweights of all time. Up until 2013, Mayweather showed remarkable skills in the ring. However, his past two fights with Maidana revealed some signs of wear and tear, upping the appeal of this bout. Almost all boxing analysts believe that Pacquiao poses the greatest challenge to Mayweather; he has the speed, power, and footwork. On top of that, Pacquiao has an unorthodox stance—a technique that has given Mayweather headaches in the past. Mayweather, conversely, has everything that Pacquiao finds challenging: the timing, ring IQ, and the perfect defense, albeit this time he might rely more on conventional style guard than his usual shoulder role.
Every generation has a couple of fighters who wow the crowd with their athleticism and sheer skills. For this generation, it has been Mayweather and Pacquiao. Up until now, these two boxers have followed separate paths, and it appeared that their fight would never to materialize. But at long last the wait is over. The date and time have been set. On May 2nd at MGM Grand, the entire world will watch for the true champion of this generation.