When I sit with friends and or relatives watching a football game, I’m asked about how much money does so ‘n so make. Say for example, the Denver Broncos are playing and they inquire about Peyton Manning and I say he makes somewhere around 20 million dollars a year or slightly more. When they hear that they freak out and say “nobody’s worth that much money”! To which I go on to lecture them on how Manning is worth that much money because the entity that’s paying him isn’t losing a dime. In fact they are making money because he’s on their payroll.
I then proceed to tell them that they are a lot of the reason why athletes such as Manning, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Floyd Mayweather are compensated so handsomely. And the reason for that is, when Manning is playing, just like when Tiger, LeBron and Floyd are working, you tune in to watch like clock work. And if you don’t, there are enough others who do without fail. When the athletes mentioned are performing, the ratings and fan interest explode every time. The reason for that is there’s a huge percentage of the world’s population who love being entertained by watching the best quarterbacks, power forwards, golfers and fighters perform at an elite level. It just so happens that advertisers know that too.
It seems that a lot of fans and consumers forget that they control, to a varying degree, how much athletes/entertainers are compensated when they work. If you think Manning makes too much, don’t watch him. The same thing applies to Woods, James and Mayweather. The problem is, that’ll never happen and the promoters, advertisers and owners know it. And I’m sure the athletes and entertainers also are cognizant of it as well.
That said, boxing is a little different. The point is, so far this new year everyone in most boxing circles are focused on who Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will next fight because they know it won’t be each other. And regardless of who Mayweather fights, he’s virtually guaranteed to gross at least 30 million dollars. It doesn’t matter if he fights Amir Khan or Devon Alexander, Mayweather is grossing at least 30 million. And the same thing applies to Pacquiao. It doesn’t matter whether he fights Khan or Alexander, Manny is gonna gross 20 million dollars, at the very least. And that’s because somewhere close to two million consumers/fans will pay somewhere between 60 and 80 dollars the night of the fight to watch Floyd and Manny work.
If boxing fans are so outraged about Mayweather making foolish demands for the fight and Pacquiao not willing to ditch promoter Bob Arum for one fight, then don’t watch them the next time they fight if it’s not against each other. Again, that only applies to you if you really think seeing Mayweather and Pacquiao fighting each other is a big deal. That is a faction I’m not a part of. I’ve gone on record saying that a) I couldn’t care less if they ever fight; b) I don’t think a meeting between Floyd and Manny is anything close to what I consider a SuperFight and; c) I still believe they’re gonna fight eventually because it doesn’t matter when it happens, they both know it’ll be a financial success in 2015, 2016 or even 2017. The date is irrelevant because if it wasn’t, the fight wouldn’t be talked about so much now being that it’s already four years overdue. Just matching the names Mayweather and Pacquiao assures there will be monumental interest in the bout.
If boxing fans are dying to see Mayweather-Pacquiao, stop watching their fights. It would take each of them fighting once with only about half a million buys to adjust their thinking. Let them fight once each and the promoters take a bath. If that happened Mayweather would forgo the drug testing subterfuge and Pacquiao would convince Arum to take a walk for one fight. Because if nobody cares about them, they can’t get paid. If they can’t get paid, they’ll do everything in their power to make sure they get paid again…which translates into giving the fans and public what they want.
Sadly, there will be a ton of interest when Floyd and Manny announce their next fight. They both have a huge following even if they’re not fighting each other. And as long as that’s the case, the urgency to fight each other, especially where Mayweather is concerned, just isn’t there. HBO and Showtime have now gotten so adept at marketing dud fights (through things like 24/7) that, instead of really thinking about what they’re buying, fight fans have become almost robotic in being taught to believe that whatever’s being shown is a “must have” purchase. It’s become a lot like the WWE in that respect.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com