The Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao match was advertised as the fight of the century, but the 12 rounds of unspectacular boxing left many pay-per-viewers and ringside ticket holders disappointed, but for those behind the fight, the revenues lived up to the expectations.
Mayweather’s dominance led to a unanimous decision by the judges, and the reviews were also unanimous that the fight was a yawner.
HBO and Showtime, the two premium channels that won the rights to broadcast the event, netted an astonishing $400 million in revenues from fans paying more than $100 in the US to watch, and bars and restaurants paying for a special license ranging from $6,500 for a 200-person venue up to $15,500 for larger establishments.
For the MGM Grand, host venue for the fight, ticket sales of $74 million for the 17,000-seat arena tops last year’s biggest football game, Super Bowl XLIX’s $62.6 million for more than 70,000 seats.
And the money didn’t stop there as millions of dollars were wagered on the contest, including some rather large ones from celebrities.
Celebs Go All-In
The red carpet at the Oscars had nothing on the MGM as the who’s who of Hollywood and sports were in attendance, many with substantial bets on the fight. From Jay Z and Beyonce to Denzel Washington, Justin Bieber, and Mike Tyson, the arena was filled with famous faces.
Several celebs placed wagers on the fight, but none more so than 50 Cent who reportedly dumped $1.6 million on Mayweather. Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg bet Diddy $250,000 that Pacquiao would prevail, a bet the hip-hop mogul accepted and won.
Others publicly expressing their support of Mayweather included Tom Brady, Jamie Foxx, and Donald Trump. Those betting on Pacquiao consisted of the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Chrissy Teigen, and One Direction’s Niall Horan.
The less-than-stellar Mayweather vs. Pacquiao match was later credited to Manny revealing he was suffering from a shoulder injury prior to the fight. According to the legal agreement, that could result in perjury charges being brought against the 36-year-old.
On his pre-fight medical questionnaire, Pacquiao checked “No” next to the question, “Have you had any injury to your shoulders, elbows, or hands that needed evaluation or examination?”
Disclosing the injury could have prevented the match from happening, meaning Pacman would have been out the $50 million guarantee he received for the fight.
“Disclosure is a big thing for us, and honesty,” Cisco Aguilar, chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission told reporters on Monday. “The commission at some point will have to discuss Pacquiao’s medical questionnaire.”
“I’ve got to run through the process with the Attorney General (Adam Laxalt). But they do sign that document under the penalty of perjury,” Aguilar stated.
Perjury is the act of lying under oath, willfully making statements that are not true. In Nevada, a conviction of perjury comes with a possible, although unlikely in this case, penalty of up to four years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
Boxing insiders say the fight was all about the money, and who can argue with them? If it was all about winning, Manny likely wouldn’t have entered the ring with an injured shoulder.