Boxing fans rejoiced today with Floyd Mayweather’s announcement that, after years of delays and anticipation, he and Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao have agreed to fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here is what you need to know for the superfight of the century.
1. The Match Will be Fought at the 147-Pound Weight Limit
The May 2 bout will be a title unification to be fought at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. On the line will be Mayweather’s WBC World welterweight title, which he earned by defeating Robert Guerrero in 2012, and Pacquiao’s WBO World welterweight title.
Pacquiao had originally lifted the WBO belt in 2009 from Miguel Cotto, but subsequently lost it in his knockout defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in 2013. He reclaimed it again by beating Timothy Bradley in April 2014.
2. The Purse Will Be Split 60%-40% for Mayweather
With Mayweather entering the fight as the A-Side star, Pacquiao no doubt had to make his share of concessions. In a fight that is expected to generate a purse of $400million, the distribution of the wealth was, of course, a central issue.
Oscar De La Hoya explained why he considers the split to be fair:
“Manny Pacquiao, let’s be honest, he’s already a pay-per-view star, too. He’s done big numbers,” Oscar De La Hoya said to Yahoo Sports. “If you look at Mayweather’s numbers closely, I think you have to set aside the fight with Canelo [Alvarez, which had 2.2 million PPV buys] because that was a special case and after that, they’re pretty close in what they sell, even if Mayweather is a little ahead of Pacquiao.”
3. Each Fighter Will Wear the Gloves of Their Choice
One concession Manny Pacquiao did not have to make in the negotiations leading to the agreement was which brand of 8-ounce gloves he would have to wear.
A last minute demand by Floyd Mayweather prior to his May 2014 fight against Marcos Maidana forced the Argentine to switch from his usual thinly-padded Everlast MX gloves, which the Money team found unsuitable, to Everlast Powerlock gloves.
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, for the 2015 May 2 fight, Mayweather will wear Grant brand gloves, designed with extra padding on the knuckles to protect the hands. Pacquiao will use his usual Mexican made Cleto Reyes gloves, which carry less padding (horse hair, actually) in the knuckles and are considered to be “punchers’” gloves.
4. The Fight Will be Broadcast Jointly by HBO Pay-Per-View and Showtime PPV
For the second time in boxing history, pay cable channels HBO Pay-Per-View and Showtime PPV will jointly carry the event. The precedent for this was set in 2002 when the two networks agreed to a similar agreement for the heavyweight championship fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.
According to Dan Rafael the cost of the pay-per-view is expected to be a record $89.95. The cost for the high-definition broadcast will likely be $99.95.
“The Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis joint pay-per-view fight was a great roadmap for this fight,” said Ken Hershman, President HBO Sports. “It showed that this can be done successfully. The fight will be held on traditional pay-per-view, nothing out of the ordinary on that front. We’re looking forward to getting going, there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us.”
5. The Odds to Win Are in Mayweather’s Favor
Even before the May 2 fight was officially announced, sportbooks had already started taking bets on who would win.
Although it is still too early for over/under numbers or prop bets to be posted, the books have Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the clear favorite.
bet365: Floyd Mayweather Jr. -275 Manny Pacquiao +225
Bovada: Floyd Mayweather Jr. -285 Manny Pacquiao +225
BetOnline: Floyd Mayweather Jr. -270 Manny Pacquiao +230
Sportingbet: Floyd Mayweather Jr. -270 Manny Pacquiao +230