Before the fight negotiations for Mayweather and Pacquiao, one of the biggest points of contention that the fans thought would come up would be the fight purse. The main concern with fight purses tends to be which is the bigger draw in terms of pay per view draws.
In the end the purse was split evenly between the two, although of course the fight collapsed anyway. The question of which was the biggest draw was never fully resolved although fans of each both claimed their man was the bigger star.
In March that question might well be settled once and for all, as Manny Pacquiao takes on Yuri Foreman and Floyd looks set to take on an as yet named opponent just one week earlier. Neither fight is fully confirmed yet, but if both go ahead Floyd will fight on March 13th and Pacquiao on March 20th, both probably in Las Vegas.
Even more prescient is the fact that neither of their opponents are likely to be major draws in their own right. Foreman is a champion and popular in some circles, but he isn’t well known to most of the public. Similarly an opponent willing to take a fight against Floyd Mayweather on fairly short notice isn’t likely to be a major star either. Matthew Hatton has been mentioned and is apparently on standby, although the rumor was that Floyd wanted that fight to take place in Manchester England, where Hatton could drum up a bigger crowd.
Manny can prove his drawing power (AP Photo)
A lot of which sells better will probably depend on how each fight is marketed. The Foreman fight is easy enough because Pacquiao is moving up in weight again and challenging for his 8th title. Mayweather has yet to name his opponent so the marketing is a little difficult to predict, but if Matty Hatton is named then some sort of revenge angle for Floyd beating brother Ricky Hatton is probably the way to go.
The two events being potentially so close together might force one or the other to change dates if they think they will struggle against the other, but this hasn’t happened yet. There are also several UFC cards scheduled for March, and while the specific dates have yet to be announced, if they use some of their major stars then they could affect the buy rate.
Although the UFC struggle to compare to either fighter when they are taking on top competition, the perception of both taking easier fights than usual might help the MMA promotion out.
Given the pay per views will only be one week apart, the potential is there for one of the two to struggle to shift many pay per views at all. Sure there are some people who will by both, but the majority of the fans will probably pick between the two based on which they like better. Mayweather does have a small advantage of being a week earlier, although that isn’t likely to have a major effect on what Pacquiao and Foreman will sell.
Foreman should be an interesting match for Pacquiao (AP Photo)
Manny is undoubtedly the more exciting fighter to watch against most opposition, and this fight will probably be no different. Foreman might frustrate him for a while with his reach, but Pacquiao should walk him down and start his usual hatchet job after a few rounds.
Mayweather does hold the advantage of being able to sell and hype up a fight better though, even if it is a real stinker, or completely one sided (the Juan Manuel Marquez fight for example). Whether that will be enough to outsell Manny and his global fan base will have to remain to be seen, but things might be close.
Hopefully though both fights do similar numbers rather than one outright routing the other. The reason being that if one outsells the other by a large amount then should the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao showdown start to gain momentum again, the temptation will be there for one side to demand a bigger purse share and derail the fight again.
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