Manny Pacquiao: Fans Will Still Pay to See Fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2012

GENERAL SANTOS, PHILIPPINES - SEPTEMBER 27:  Manny Pacquiao in action during a training session at Golingan Gymnasium on September 27, 2012 in General Santos, Philippines. Pacquiao will take on Mexican Juan Manual Marquez on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images

Millions of people will pay to watch Manny Pacquiao knock out Floyd Mayweather Jr.

This fight remains boxing's dream match, but for various reasons, those involved in the sport have conspired to kill it.

A lot has been made of the fact that the longer this saga is dragged out, the older the boxers get, which equals less money and attention since nobody is going to pay to watch two over-the-hill guys fight each other.

But if you were to ask the average sports fan to name two current boxers, those two guys would come up the most.

However, recent history tells otherwise.

The biggest fight in terms of revenue is Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Oscar De La Hoya on May 5, 2007. The event made $120 million and had 2.15 million buys.

That was despite De La Hoya being past his prime and a massive underdog against the undefeated Mayweather Jr.

Prior to that, the record had belonged to Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson. Tyson was a shell of his former shelf, and yet, people paid to watch him fight.

Both Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. are in their mid-30s. While their primes are behind them, they're probably the two best boxers in the world in their weight class.

The moral of the story is, within reason, age is not the kind of deterrent it would appear to be for boxing.


In addition to that, this fight has the most basic tenet of good storytelling behind it: good vs. evil.

Storytelling can make a fight.

Gerry Cooney-Larry Holmes shouldn't have been anything. Cooney had no business being in the same ring with Holmes, but the racial battle lines had been drawn.

It was promoted as the Catholic Cooney trying to be the first white heavyweight champion in two decades going against the big, bad and black reigning champion Holmes.

The Pacquiao-Mayweather Jr. fight has a much different dynamic, but one that fans would get behind.

Pacquiao is the humble guy who has tried to help his native Philippines. He recorded a version of "Sometimes When We Touch" and jokes around with Jimmy Kimmel.

Mayweather Jr. is the braggart who takes pictures of $100,000 gambling slips and has Justin Bieber accompany him to the ring.

Along with the boxing fans who want to see a great fight, you'll get the casual fan who just wants to see Mayweather Jr. get the crap kicked out of him.

If this fight were to be confirmed, you could only bet that Mayweather Jr. would stir the pot even more in order to get more attention.

He's someone who loves to be the villain, and he's great at getting fans to root against him.

Meanwhile, Pacquaio will remain reserved, the perfect foil to his counterpart.

The reason why people think this super fight has lost luster is the fact that it hasn't happened yet and doesn't appear to be anytime soon.

The bandwagon will get in gear the minute both fighters sign the contract.

Sure, maybe slightly less fans will watch it than would have in years prior, but a Pacquiao-Mayweather Jr. card would still be the highest grossing in boxing history.