Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather ran his record to 48-0 with the win, while Pacquiao fell to 57-6-2. The fight is expected to generate more than $400 million in total revenue, shattering the previous record of $200 million for Mayweather’s 2013 bout against Canelo Alvarez.
So what’s next for Mayweather and Pacquiao?
First off, they are both about to get big deposits in their bank accounts. Top Rank’s Bob Arum says he’ll wire Pacquiao $50 million on Monday for his guarantee. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe will only say that Mayweather’s guarantee will be “a lot more than the other guy.” Once all of the PPV receipts are counted, the fighters are expected to split as much as $300 million with 60-40 split in favour of Mayweather.
Rematch? Forget it. It took the two sides, HBO/Bob Arum/Pacquiao and Showtime/Al Haymon/Mayweather, nearly six years to make this fight happen and they nearly killed each other trying to work together since the fight was announced in February. Fans would feel suckered as well. Saturday’s fight was dubbed “boring” by many, but longtime boxing fans recognise that Mayweather fights are always a clinic in defense and rarely exciting. Pacquiao’s post-fight disclosure of a shoulder injury during training will provide reason for a rematch for a minor faction, but not enough for Mayweather-Pacquiao II.
Retirement? Unlikely for both. Mayweather, 38, has one fight left in the blockbuster six-fight deal he signed with Showtime in 2013. Mayweather earned $170 million for the first four fights in the deal and likely matched that total Saturday. He insists he will be back in the ring to fulfill his contract in September and then walk away. September would mark six fights in less than 30 months for Mayweather. He only fought six times total in the previous six years before that. Many think Mayweather won’t be able to resist one more fight after September to reach 50-0 and surpass the legendary Rocky Marciano and his 49-0 record. And as San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich eloquently put it after his own retirement questions Saturday night after the Spurs Game 7 loss, “The paycheck’s pretty good.”
Pacquiao, at 36, is also near the end of the line having taken much more punishment in his 65 pro fights than Mayweather ever did. In a post-fight interview, Pacquiao said he was headed away on vacation and then would let Top Rank’s Arum figure out his fight future. Arum has made a big push in China, which he views as an untapped gold mine. Pacquiao has fought two of his last four fights in the gambling mecca of Macau and Arum wants Pacquiao fighting in Asia once a year. Look for Pacquiao to fight in November this year in Macau. The PPV numbers for Pacquiao’s Macau fights have been disappointing, but Pacquiao benefits from the 12 per cent top income tax rate compared to 39.6 per cent in the US.
How about opponents? It will be hard for both Mayweather and Pacquiao to find opponents that will get fans excited after the star-studded affair Saturday night. There will be talk of moving down to 140 pounds for Pacquiao. Lucas Matthysse is a possibility at 140 after Matthysse won a bruising battle with Ruslan Provodnikov last month. Don’t rule out another go with Juan Manuel Marquez. Their quartet of fights is the stuff of legends with Pacquiao holding a 2-1-1 edge, but Marquez floored Pacquiao in their last bout in 2012.
As for Mayweather, Keith Thurman (25-0) and Amir Khan (30-3) will be two of the most prominent names thrown around for Mayweather. Britain’s Khan is popular in Europe and was the people’s choice when Mayweather left his next opponent up to a fan vote in early 2014. Mayweather overruled them and set up a bout with Argentine Marcos Maidana instead. But Khan would struggle to give Mayweather a competitive fight.
Roy Jones Jr endorsed Thurman as an opponent after Saturday’s bout. “Keith Thurman could provide some real action in a fight with Floyd Mayweather,” said Jones, who pointed to Thurman’s size as a major reason.
Teddy Atlas suggested Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, or Triple G as he’s known. Mayweather is too smart to get in the ring with GGG, who has the highest knockout rate in middleweight championship history at over 90 per cent.
Mayweather and Pacquiao will both be back in the ring again. They will both be a little closer to the end and a lot richer after their own, long-anticipated matchup.