Timothy Bradley scored a very controversial upset of Manny Pacquiao when they faced off two years ago. They finally met again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and Pac-Man was able to exact some revenge.
Pacquiao, according to ESPN's Dan Rafael, was guaranteed a $20 million payout plus a share of the PPV buys for Saturday night's fight. The exact amount of money that'll come from the PPV end is unclear at this point.
The fight generated plenty of hype because it was important for both boxers.
Pacquiao obviously wanted to avenge that prior defeat to Bradley. Furthermore, he needed to start building a little momentum after his convincing win over Brandon Rios, which came after back-to-back losses to Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, raising questions about his future.
Bradley needed to prove the previous win over Pac-Man was not a fluke. At 30, he should have more bouts in his future than his 35-year-old Filipino counterpart, so making himself into the biggest draw possible will reap rewards moving forward.
The American helped generate some extra buzz with some comments passed along by ESPN. He said Pacquiao still possessed the fighting ability necessary to succeed, but lacked the competitive fire:
Manny Pacquiao has always been a great fighter and from what I have heard he is a great person, but I think in the last two years Manny has become a more compassionate fighter. I think he lost the fire that made him the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
That killer instinct that made Oscar De La Hoya quit on his stool and the fire that knocked out Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and badly damaged Antonio Margarito are just no longer there.
Remarks like that help build the fight as a must-see attraction. It adds the edge boxing needs in order to crack the mainstream sports consciousness in an era when there are more options.
Given the automatic hype that comes from an anticipated rematch, it's actually a surprise the fight didn't generate more guaranteed money.
Lem Satterfield of The Ring magazine provided details from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum back in January; he stated both fighters would be getting less in guarantees for the rematch:
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said Pacquiao will earn a guaranteed $20 million, down from the $26 he earned when he lost a controversial decision to Bradley in 2012. Bradley will receive $6 million, $1 million less than in their first meeting.
It's still a good automatic payday, just not on quite the same level as the first meeting.
Ultimately, it was a bout that needed to happen after how the first encounter ended, and that's what boxing fans received. It was able to create a lot of interest, and the total purse illustrates the overall health of boxing, at least on the top end.
Although the sport may never reach its previous heights, fights like the rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley can still be highly successful. And that wasn't even one of the best available matchups available, but it was a necessary fight.
It will be interesting to see how both fighters move forward from here.