Earning records set to tumble in fight of century

Joe Hall
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SPORTING history will be made tomorrow night when Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao face off in the richest boxing match of all time.

The welterweight superfight is expected to set new records for revenue, with £195m likely to be generated in pay-per-view sales in North America, while international broadcast rights are expected to fetch a further £23m. British viewers can watch on Sky Sports for £19.95.

Record sums are also set to be made on merchandise sales (£650,000), commercial sponsorships (£8.5m) and closed-circuit screenings (£8.5m) of the long-awaited clash between two boxers considered the best of their generation.

Tickets to attend the 16,800-capacity MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas have soared and both fighters are in for a record payday.

The size of the two purses depends on the eventual revenue raised by pay-per-view sales, but most estimates expect it to hit £195m. That is likely to mean Mayweather taking home £117m and Pacquiao around £78m after the duo agreed a 60/40 split.

If the fight lasts the full 12 rounds, the undefeated Mayweather stands to earn around £3.3m per minute.

The WBC and WBA champion, 38, is the highest-earning athlete in the world, with total career earnings exceeding £260m. He accrued £68m from two fights in 2014, a figure that could be doubled on Saturday night.

WBO title-holder Pacquiao is believed to have made around £222m in career earnings, yet pockets more than his rival in sponsorship.

While Mayweather does not hold any endorsements, Pacquiao is believed to make around £3.3m from deals with Nike, Nestle and Foot Locker.

The southpaw could be said to be more in need of the bumper payday than “Money” Mayweather.

The Pac-Man, as he is known, has been told to pay the Philippines government £49m in outstanding tax while in the US the IRS has charged him with £12m in unpaid taxes.