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Manny Pacquiao

Big business starts cashing in on Mayweather-Pacquiao bout

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Marcos Maidana - Weigh-InNow that the protagonists have finally signed on the dotted lines, the projected fight of the century between undefeated Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, is, this early, already ringing cash registers everywhere.

According to Mail Online’s Jeff Powell, big businesses needed to help generate the fiwght’s US$200 million bonanza are already swinging into action.

The travel industry, especially, air accommodation packages, he reported, have now gone on sale in Britain for the second half of the week ending May 2 in Las Vegas, Mayweather’s proposed date of the fight.

The MGM Grand, the giant resort and casino,venue of what is considered the richest fight of all time, has kept its Grand Garden Arena on hold for some time in anticipation of the bout, the report said.

More significantly it has just raised its basic room rates for the nights of May 1 and 2 – by more than treble to in excess of $500 for the first time.

Other hotels in Vegas are also hiking their prices. It is believed that ringside seats will cost $5,000 each, with the pay-per-view subscriptions in the US being priced at $100 each. The most recent estimates suggest that Mayweather stands to bank a minimum of $120 million and Pacquiao at least $80 million.

The fight, which matches boxing’s two biggest attractions of recent years, has been in the making for five years. It finally came together in recent months with both fighters putting aside past differences over various issues—including drug testing and television rights—to reach agreement.Pacquiao was sleeping in the Philippines when the fight was announced, but his camp issued a statement saying the fans deserve the long awaited fight.

“It is an honor to be part of this historic event,” Pacquiao said. “I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”

While the fight rivals the 2002 heavyweight title bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson for interest, it comes more than five years after the first real effort to put the fighters together in their prime. Most boxing observers believe both have lost some of their skills, though Mayweather remains a master defensive fighter and Pacquiao showed in his last fight against Chris Algieri that he still has tremendous quickness in his hands.

The fight is expected to do record business in Nevada’s legal sports books, with tens of millions wagered on the outcome.

It will also do record business at the box office—with the MGM expected to be scaled far higher than the $20 million live gate for Mayweather’s 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez. The pay-per-view revenue also is expected to be a record, though television executives said Friday they had yet to actually fix a price for people to buy the fight at home.

The fight will be televised as a joint venture between competing networks Showtime and HBO, which will share announcers with Jim Lampley and Al Bernstein reportedly handling the task at ringside. Pacquiao began pushing hard for the fight after beating Algieri in November in Macau, and negotiations picked up last month when the two fighters met by chance at a Miami Heat basketball game and later talked with each other in Pacquiao’s hotel room about making it happen.

“It’s one of those fortuitous circumstance we couldn’t have planned,” Showtime boxing chief Stephen Espinoza said. “But we were lucky that it happened.”

As part of the agreement, Mayweather insisted on having the right to announce the bout. He also won concessions from the Pacquiao camp on who enters the ring first, what type of gloves are used, and a number of other issues, including a reported 60-40 split of the purse.

With report from AP

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