It's fight week for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. After years of waiting, the pair will finally square off on May 2 in a battle which, if nothing else, will be the richest in boxing.
Whatever the result, both brawlers are assured of a mega payday. As reported by Gareth A Davies of The Telegraph, Mayweather's dominant 60-40 split of the purse will land approximately $119.8 million (£82 million) for what is likely to be 12 rounds of work. Pacquiao will earn $79.6 million (£54.5 million) in comparison.
The fight itself is expected to gross in the region of $400 million (£273 million). Sports Interaction (h/t Darren Heitner of Forbes) expects pay-per-view orders to reach between 3.15-3.8 million in the United States, with each purchase costing $90-$100 depending on whether you opt for high-definition.
Throw in pay-per-view offerings from around the globe (such as the United Kingdom's £19.95 cost) and this easily begs to be a box office record-breaker. However, Heitner's article suggests America's expensive purchase could see the total revenue fall short of expectations.
Dan Rafael of ESPN.com indicates a record-sponsorship haul of $13.2 million will be set for the fight, with previous Mayweather bouts generating between $3-$4 million through its main financial backers.
Best Odds (as of April 26)
So, those involved have the opportunity to enjoy a massive payout, but how can budding punters earn that pay-per-view cost back?
OddsShark.com currently notes Bovada's odds, placing Mayweather as the favourite (-225) and Pacquiao as the underdog (+175).
If betting lines aren't your thing, Oddschecker.com confirms a host of bookies have Mayweather priced up at 1-2. Boyle Sports' 21-10 odds for Pacquiao currently offers the most value, while BetVictor's 20-1 draw odds will likely get pounced on by many.
Mayweather is -140 to win by decision or technical decision with OddsShark, with the same bet coming in at +400 for Pac-Man. The bookmakers obviously expect the latter to start and finish strongly, with 33-1 odds being offered on a win in the first round, or between rounds 7-12.
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, recently told Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson why you should back the Filipino:
Roach also believes Pacquiao's southpaw style means his man can eliminate Floyd with ease, per Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail: "We're at the point where Manny could beat him with his right arm tied behind his back."
Pretty Boy is 33-1 to capture the plaudits inside the opening round, but his next best odds are 40-1 in the second and as the latter half of the battle begins.
Incidentally, the fight is -300 to go the distance and +230 to be stopped before the final bell tolls.
One of the exciting aspects of this fight will be witnessing the game plans both men initiate. We all know Mayweather's defence ranks among the best in history and that it would make sense for Pacquiao to throw bombs in the opening exchanges. Is this strategy too obvious, though? It's surely what Floyd is expecting.
The bookmakers' odds suggest this is Pacquiao's best route to victory. Yet, with Roach in his corner, we can expect Manny's tactics to be reactive and vast. He needs to coax Mayweather out of a protective shell.
Nobody has managed this thus far, making a bet on the underdog extremely valuable to those who believe he can end Mayweather's 47-0 streak.