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MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO: REMATCH CLAUSE OR CAUSE?

May 9, 2015, Queens, NY  It’s been a week since they fought, and already, the groundwork is being laid for a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch.  You might think because Floyd “I Make Money” Mayweather recently stated he would not give Manny “I Make Excuses” Pacquiao a rematch that the two pugilists won’t ever fight.  If you believe that, they have B.I.B.F.S.F.S. (Bridges in Brooklyn for Sale for Suckers).

The best way to make the fight is to emphatically state that there will be no fight.  It’s not oxymoronic; it’s business savvy.  Mayweather has one more fight on his contract with Showtime.  He’ll probably fight Amir Khan who doesn’t pose that much of a threat and happens to be a very attractive opponent with a huge fan base.  If they price the pay-per-view at $39.99, and hype it as Mayweather’s last fight, they should be able to get at least 3 million pay-per-view buys.  If Mayweather returns to his “bad boy” days, the fight will get closer to 4 million pay-per-view buys.  If Mayweather makes some anti-Islamic remarks and drapes himself in an American flag, the fight will get over 5 million pay-per-view buys at the $39.99 price point.  Moreover, if Mayweather adds the “Americans vs. The Brits” subplot, who knows what the fight will make?  No sport has been more in tune with the concept of dynamic pricing than boxing, where the price of a ticket is determined on a fight-by-fight basis.  So as the last fight proved, anything is possible.

Mayweather insists that Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, should front the money.  Mayweather is obviously posturing because if Pacquiao’s promoter puts up the money, Pacquiao gets the lion’s share of the purse.  But creating a controversy over who should “fund the fight” generates interest because battles in business are just as compelling as battles in the ring or on the battlefield.

Pacquiao’s lame claim that he was severely hurt also helps to generate interest.  Even though he is being sued, the idea that Mayweather beat a “damaged” fighter plants enough seeds of doubt in the public’s mind to entertain seeing it again.  All Pacquiao needs is for his surgeon to show an x-ray of the damage and lay claim that it was miraculous that Pacquiao was able to lift his arm much less fight under such duress.

Pacquiao, his promoter, and his camp will call out Mayweather.  They will call him a chicken.  They will challenge his manhood.  They will cast aspersion about his legacy (TBE: The Best Ever).  Mayweather will fire back.  He will call Pacquiao a liar.  He will intimate that Pacquiao is broke and needs the money.  He will say that he’ll never, ever fight Pacquiao. He will call Pacquiao a religious hypocrite.  Pacquiao will retort.  He will call Mayweather Godless.  He will call Mayweather an “anti-Christ.”  And then, Mayweather will retort louder.  And then Floyd Mayweather Sr. (the father) will say something nasty about Pacquiao.  Freddie Roach (Pacquiao’s trainer) will say something even nastier about Floyd Sr.  Leonard Ellerbe will say something about Bob Arum being old and washed up.  Arum will say something condescending about Ellerbe.  HBO will say something unflattering about Showtime.  And Showtime will say something unflattering about HBO.

After a September victory, Mayweather will call it quits.  Pacquiao’s rehab will go exceedingly well, and he’ll be back in the gym next February, “working out.”  In March, they will announce the fight to be held in June, not May, in a small gambling town, in a sparsely populated country.  The town is Macau, and the country is China.  Macau will guarantee Mayweather $250 million and Pacquiao around $175 million.

The media will slam the fight.  The boxing experts will bash it.  But the people will buy it.  It’s not about the “fight clause”; it’s about the “fight cause.”  The Money Cause.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at cliffb@puresportsny.com.

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