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Pacquiao Sitting Pretty for Mayweather – Alvarez

BY Phil Woolever ON September 14, 2013
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Pacquiao HBO 130808 001a d32f1“THE ONE” BUT NOT THE ONLY – Many Septembers past, Muhammad Ali became the ghost that haunted boxing. Manny Pacquiao may become the ghost that haunts Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 

The original “Pac-man” was a machine born in primal video game days when Pong machines could still be found scattered around US bowling alleys. The new video-game sensation arrived to usurp most of the attention and shiny quarters of a still small gaming nation.

In that tabletop scenario, comic graphics gobbled along a winding road to flee or pursue foes and featured noisy characters who, when defeated, withered away like deflated balloons. Decades later, another Pacman entered another gaming scene. This version was a boxer from the Philippines, who gobbled up his competition, won wagers for a growing bandwagon of sports book players, and put many fannies in the seats, either at huge arenas or before pay per view TV screens.

Pacquiao was a punching machine, and rose to the top of professional pugilism’s peak with his fierce attack inside the ring and gentle manner outside the strands

Then, like they always do, things changed. Class seemed to lose yardage to crass in the marketplace. After years as a global icon, Pacquiao showed increased vulnerability. In his most recent contests, he lost a questionable decision against Tim Bradley and the indisputable potentially career ending stoppage to Juan Manual Marquez. Pacquiao’s detractors tried to relegate him back to the small change ranks. Pocket money. His status as an equal, arguably superior, performer compared to the great Mayweather seemed to evaporate. The debate over relative dominance morphed to a bigger perception that Mayweather was the true, lasting superstar.

Manny’s popularity seemed to be in a free fall, amidst public squawking on his personal or political life. It looked like the latest Pacman would eventually be deflated like those little cartoon graphics that came before him. Mayweather’s listing as sports’ highest paid athlete, and the overwhelming hoopla and public response for the Alvarez fight has furthered “Money’s” alpha claims. Still, despite a shifting spotlight, as of today, Pacquiao has regained substantial ground on Mayweather without throwing a punch since Pacquiao’s last loss, ten months ago.

Sometimes the best way to avoid flaming out or crashing is just to delay take off. Simply by remaining Manny, Pacquiao’s personality and previous achievements have served him well. Obviously, whatever or whoever goes down in Macao versus Brandon Rios will have a lot to do with the future, but it looks like Pacquiao is on course to return to Mayweather’s echelon in public perception, if not paydays. Meanwhile, legacy-wise, Mayweather finds himself in that time-worn position of being tagged by his own success. These days it’s such a foregone conclusion he’ll be victorious when he fights it’s nearly a no-win situation if he doesn’t score a spectacular KO, something like Wladimir Klitschko sees. Imagine that odd couple being listed, with similarities, in same sentence.

Some things will change, like they always do. Some will remain, as usual.

Marquez may be more a more respected technician than Pacquiao, as is Bradley for that matter. But put Marquez and Bradley together, multiply it by two and they still only have a fraction of Pacquiao or Mayweather’s charisma. The odds, pound for pound status, or fans’ loyalties and perceptions will probably continue to change regarding Mayweather – Pacquiao before Money’s Showtime contract concludes its convoluted conking course.

By that time, with what may be Floyd’s ultimate promotional maneuver, we may have Mayweather – Pacquiao finally facing off. Floyd’s farewell, possibly 50-0 fight could make the Alvarez bout look like a four round prelim. Pacquiao will almost certainly not be in attendance at the MGM tonight, but his name will be heard more than a few times. A Mayweather – Pacquiao fight, whether it ever actually happens or not, will remain one of the hottest topics in this era of boxing. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a “pick ‘em” affair once again.

Manny Pacquiao, with or without Floyd Mayweather, will remain one of boxing’s biggest stars.

Comment on this article

Hop says:

If Pacquiao handles Rios -- especially if it's in impressive fashion -- this is absolutely the next fight that should happen -- yes, even at this stage. True, the ideal window for this great match (post Pac-Hatton) up has passed. However, I'd still want to see it, and personally feel there is not a better opponent for Floyd out there. I picked Floyd as my winner back in 2009, and certainly would stick with that today, but make it happen! Of course the hurdle of having Golden Boy and Top Rank come together is a huge one.

Radam G says:

This bout will never happen. Holla!

brownsugar says:

Economics, It's Just simple economics and the rule of "supply and demand". Nothing Personal of course..... Mayweather had no intention of fighting Canelo either recently ( especially after Canelo removed his financial support by refusing to fight on the undercard for the Guerrero fight) But behind closed doors, in the muted and austere conference rooms of Showtime, Al Haman, Espinoza, and Schaefer had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with Mayweather the let him know in no uncertain terms that "With Much PPV Money Earning Power,... Comes Much Responsibility". Showtime was in the position of having to recoup it's losses from the Guerrero Event and Money May had to validate his value to the cable giant for continuing their 6 fight agreement(at premium prices). Enter Canelo, ....chosen due to fact that the built-in hype for the fight was already in place.....along with a massive pre-existing audience, .....with the convenience of being prepackaged and instantly marketable for immediate distribution". Mayweather had to make compromises to get his multimillion dollar payday,.. and he'll have to do it again if he wants to continue seeing that kind of money..........Paq vs Mayweather is the only fight Arum will consider doing with an Al Haman fighter. And it's a fight he still dares to hope for. The impasse due to the lawsuit, PED accusations, and the TopRank/Golden Boy rift is a barrier that could be traversed as easily as Moses parted the Red Sea by raising his holy staff....(a biblical reference used partly because making the fight may seem to be in the "Modern Miracle" category to most people.) The Money Team realizes that short of fighting Triple G, Andre Ward, or Adrian Broner (if Broner gets past Maidana) there are really no other guaranteed Big money transactions left for the Money Man,... (Garcia is not going to do it, and neither is Khan). Money certainly won't take a step down from $40 million Dollar paydays to accept a mere piddling $5 million per fight. The man does have his pride.... Don't confuse Floyd with the other "peasants" in boxing.....guys who are willing to stoop low enough to receive a paltry million dollar pay-check. Ego, public demand, pride, the addiction to filthy lucre and the power it wields will open the door to this fight. All Manny has to do is win a fight or two. Do you think it's a coincidence Floyd has begun showing appreciation toward Bob at public events? But when it does finally happen, Floyd will probably be the last one to admit it was his idea, Just like the Canelo Catch-weight clause.

amayseng says:

Brownsugar on point!!

The Shadow says:

Economics, It's Just simple economics and the rule of "supply and demand". Nothing Personal of course..... Mayweather had no intention of fighting Canelo either recently ( especially after Canelo removed his financial support by refusing to fight on the undercard for the Guerrero fight) But behind closed doors, in the muted and austere conference rooms of Showtime, Al Haman, Espinoza, and Schaefer had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with Mayweather the let him know in no uncertain terms that "With Much PPV Money Earning Power,... Comes Much Responsibility". Showtime was in the position of having to recoup it's losses from the Guerrero Event and Money May had to validate his value to the cable giant for continuing their 6 fight agreement(at premium prices). Enter Canelo, ....chosen due to fact that the built-in hype for the fight was already in place.....along with a massive pre-existing audience, .....with the convenience of being prepackaged and instantly marketable for immediate distribution". Mayweather had to make compromises to get his multimillion dollar payday,.. and he'll have to do it again if he wants to continue seeing that kind of money..........Paq vs Mayweather is the only fight Arum will consider doing with an Al Haman fighter. And it's a fight he still dares to hope for. The impasse due to the lawsuit, PED accusations, and the TopRank/Golden Boy rift is a barrier that could be traversed as easily as Moses parted the Red Sea by raising his holy staff....(a biblical reference used partly because making the fight may seem to be in the "Modern Miracle" category to most people.) The Money Team realizes that short of fighting Triple G, Andre Ward, or Adrian Broner (if Broner gets past Maidana) there are really no other guaranteed Big money transactions left for the Money Man,... (Garcia is not going to do it, and neither is Khan). Money certainly won't take a step down from $40 million Dollar paydays to accept a mere piddling $5 million per fight. The man does have his pride.... Don't confuse Floyd with the other "peasants" in boxing.....guys who are willing to stoop low enough to receive a paltry million dollar pay-check. Ego, public demand, pride, the addiction to filthy lucre and the power it wields will open the door to this fight. All Manny has to do is win a fight or two. Do you think it's a coincidence Floyd has begun showing appreciation toward Bob at public events? But when it does finally happen, Floyd will probably be the last one to admit it was his idea, Just like the Canelo Catch-weight clause.


Interesting post. A few points here:

1) Showtime did not "lose" on the Mayweather-Guerrero bout. That is a myth perpetrated by the narrow minded, unruly and ignorant. PPV buyrate is far from the only measure/metric of success involved with that particular venture. PPV = PR - nothing more.

2) Amir Khan is a money tree/cash cow waiting to happen. He's got more potential commercial appeal than Manny Pacquiao and even Zou Shiming. Look at my latest post on another thread where I explain exactly why.

3) Bob Arum does NOT want to do business with Al Haymon, but that's not really the breaking point here. It's simple: He does not want Pacquiao facing Mayweather. You wouldn't either if you were him b/c he'd have to open the books and disclose all revenue streams which he even tried to hide when he was obligated to do so, legally.

In-house promotions + dirty money is where it's at. Telling the public you're doing everything you can to make it increases buyrate.

Boxing promotions is a game of poker. It's not what you got it's what they think you got.

brownbomber says:

Interesting post. A few points here:

1) Showtime did not "lose" on the Mayweather-Guerrero bout. That is a myth perpetrated by the narrow minded, unruly and ignorant. PPV buyrate is far from the only measure/metric of success involved with that particular venture.

2) Amir Khan is a money tree/cash cow waiting to happen. He's got more potential commercial appeal than Manny Pacquiao and even Zou Shiming. Look at my latest post on another thread where I explain exactly why.

3) Bob Arum does NOT want to do business with Al Haymon, but that's not really the breaking point here. It's simple: He does not want Pacquiao facing Mayweather. You wouldn't either if you were him b/c he'd have to open the books and disclose all revenue streams which he even tried to hide when he was obligated to do so, legally.

In-house promotions + dirty money is where it's at. Telling the public you're doing everything you can to make it increases buyrate.

Boxing promotions is a game of poker. It's not what you got it's what they think you got.


Great post

SouthPaul says:

Good point about the Showtime losing money myth. I'm convinced some folks just don't get basic mathematics. Showtime took over where HBO left off, business as usual .... Guaranteed money for everyone involved. Anyhow, good input from everyone. Fight hang over. Lmfao.

Radam G says:

Tell the myth until it is believed as the truth. Showtime is that money myth. And make out that truth is the myth. I got my money on HBO. And HBO on my money.

I'm reminded of back in the day when and everybodee and dey momma were saying USA television boxing and its talking head color man Sean O'Grady were the future, and that ESPN and its talking head color man Teddy Atlas will fade to black.

Showtime is getting whupped by HBO and Da Bobfather like Money May did it to the redheaded hype. Holla!

The Shadow says:

Good point about the Showtime losing money myth. I'm convinced some folks just don't get basic mathematics. Showtime took over where HBO left off, business as usual .... Guaranteed money for everyone involved. Anyhow, good input from everyone. Fight hang over. Lmfao.


You're right.

But it's not even the math, SP. Because factoring in what was spent on the promotion vs. what it generated, then yes, you could argue that it "lost" money.

But maximizing PPV buys wasn't the primary objective. Or the secondary objective. In the grand scheme of things, I don't even think it was an ancillary objective.

That logic is akin to saying that when Real Madrid buys a player for a $100m, they must recoup the $100m in merchandise sales. That's silly.

Assume the promotion lost $8m or whatever figure the nimrod reporters throw out there (which it didn't because as Radam astutely pointed out, the promotion rakes in other figures as well that are undisclosed).

CBS is executing a long-term strategy for their premium cable sports programming.

In order to get the biggest boxing superstar as your franchise player for three years, effectively become the number one network and to spearhead the new strategy for your combat sport programming, $8m is a motherf*ckin BARGAIN!

Looking at just revenues vs expenses defeats the purpose.

You gotta look at brand recall, positioning, brand awareness, reach, subscriptions, ratings etc. -- something even the most simple-minded majority of mass media masqueraders ought to be able to measure.

Stephen Espinoza tries to get the most basic essentials of that point across ALL THE TIME! But when you have jaded and borderline incompetent mainstream writers with an agenda, what can you do?

Hop says:

Economics, It's Just simple economics and the rule of "supply and demand". Nothing Personal of course..... Mayweather had no intention of fighting Canelo either recently ( especially after Canelo removed his financial support by refusing to fight on the undercard for the Guerrero fight) But behind closed doors, in the muted and austere conference rooms of Showtime, Al Haman, Espinoza, and Schaefer had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with Mayweather the let him know in no uncertain terms that "With Much PPV Money Earning Power,... Comes Much Responsibility". Showtime was in the position of having to recoup it's losses from the Guerrero Event and Money May had to validate his value to the cable giant for continuing their 6 fight agreement(at premium prices). Enter Canelo, ....chosen due to fact that the built-in hype for the fight was already in place.....along with a massive pre-existing audience, .....with the convenience of being prepackaged and instantly marketable for immediate distribution". Mayweather had to make compromises to get his multimillion dollar payday,.. and he'll have to do it again if he wants to continue seeing that kind of money..........[COLOR="#0000FF">Pacquiao vs Mayweather is the only fight Arum will consider doing with an Al Haman fighter. And it's a fight he still dares to hope for. The impasse due to the lawsuit, PED accusations, and the TopRank/Golden Boy rift is a barrier that could be traversed as easily as Moses parted the Red Sea by raising his holy staff....(a biblical reference used partly because making the fight may seem to be in the "Modern Miracle" category to most people.) The Money Team realizes that short of fighting [COLOR="#0000FF">Triple G, Andre Ward, or [COLOR="#0000FF">Adrien Broner (if Broner gets past Maidana) there are really no other guaranteed Big money transactions left for the Money Man,... ([COLOR="#0000FF">Garcia is not going to do it, and neither is [COLOR="#0000FF">Khan). Money certainly won't take a step down from $40 million Dollar paydays to accept a mere piddling $5 million per fight. The man does have his pride.... Don't confuse Floyd with the other "peasants" in boxing.....guys who are willing to stoop low enough to receive a paltry million dollar pay-check. Ego, public demand, pride, the addiction to filthy lucre and the power it wields will open the door to this fight. All Manny has to do is win a fight or two. Do you think it's a coincidence Floyd has begun showing appreciation toward Bob at public events? But when it does finally happen, Floyd will probably be the last one to admit it was his idea, Just like the Canelo Catch-weight clause.


Good post. Besides the names you mentioned above as possible future Floyd opponents (and surely Andre Ward is a huge stretch), I'd still like to throw in [COLOR="#0000FF">Sergio Martinez as a long shot. I'd like to see all of those fights. But if Martinez were to be one, it should be ASAP, as his body is breaking down more with each bout.

amayseng says:

Good post. Besides the names you mentioned above as possible future Floyd opponents (and surely Andre Ward is a huge stretch), I'd still like to throw in [COLOR="#0000FF">Sergio Martinez as a long shot. I'd like to see all of those fights. But if Martinez were to be one, it should be ASAP, as his body is breaking down more with each bout.


2 years ago and SM may have handed floyd his first defeat, but today he is past it and breaking down.

it would be a conflicted victory again

The Shadow says:

Tell the myth until it is believed as the truth. Showtime is that money myth. And make out that truth is the myth. I got my money on HBO. And HBO on my money.

I'm reminded of back in the day when and everybodee and dey momma were saying USA television boxing and its talking head color man Sean O'Grady were the future, and that ESPN and its talking head color man Teddy Atlas will fade to black.

Showtime is getting whupped by HBO and Da Bobfather like Money May did it to the redheaded hype. Holla!


Radam, it really matters not who's whooping who. It's about corporate strategy and execution of said strategy. Whether Showtime ends up taking a loss isn't really the point.

My points was that the media myth about the Guerrero PPV bombing is an uninformed opinion/reckless banter, at best.

As of right now, the Showtime strategy is paying off. As for down the road, you could be right. I think HBO has the better infrastructure, based on experience.

It kinda reminds me of WCW vs. WWE back in the '90s.

WCW was winning for a while after they got Hulk Hogan. WCW is Showtime -- and right now, Showtime is gaining ground rapidly in terms of subscriptions, tops in PPV and total gross.

Can they sustain it? Only Time (Warner?) will tell.

brownsugar says:

Interesting post. A few points here:

1) Showtime did not "lose" on the Mayweather-Guerrero bout. That is a myth perpetrated by the narrow minded, unruly and ignorant. PPV buyrate is far from the only measure/metric of success involved with that particular venture.

2) Amir Khan is a money tree/cash cow waiting to happen. He's got more potential commercial appeal than Manny Pacquiao and even Zou Shiming. Look at my latest post on another thread where I explain exactly why.

3) Bob Arum does NOT want to do business with Al Haymon, but that's not really the breaking point here. It's simple: He does not want Pacquiao facing Mayweather. You wouldn't either if you were him b/c he'd have to open the books and disclose all revenue streams which he even tried to hide when he was obligated to do so, legally.

In-house promotions + dirty money is where it's at. Telling the public you're doing everything you can to make it increases buyrate.

Boxing promotions is a game of poker. It's not what you got it's what they think you got.
*********************************************************************************************************** ****************** I dunno Shadow,.... call it ignorant, narrowminded, or whatever you have, but I have to disagree, Mayweather took advantage of an excellent opportunity by jumping over to Showtime, nearly double the pay, and he gets a guarantee, in addition to being able to promote and insert his own fighters into various Showtime sports programming. But Without anyone divulging revenue or being able to provide hard figures from Showtime/CBS, their Sponors, the Advertising Costs to promote the fight...and the distribution costs. I can come to no other conclusion that Showtime didn't hit the financial bonanza they were expecting from the Guerrero fight.. Usually 250,000 PPV sales can be considered a success if the fighter is getting paid a quarter to one million dollars... But how many Sales does it take to make a profit when mayweather is making 20 times the norm? Showtime must promote more vigoriously than HBO because Showtime has subscription of about 21 Million compared to HBO's 31 Million households. All this in addition to he cost of booking theatres in major cities for those who didn't have cable or just wanting to view it on the big screen? How much money was spent on procuring these local closed circuit venues and how much money is lost when only 25 people show up to theatre that has a 200 seat capacity? I'm sure the Mayweather /Guerrero event wasn't a debacle... a 19$ million dollar gate along with a 870,000 buys would normally be considered a fiscal windfall if Floyd was getting regular pay. But even if Showtime didn't lose money and earned a small margin of profit,.. They can't be happy with putting on an event that generates $55 - $65 million and only make few million profit after 3-5 months of building the event after the smoke clears. Showtime scooped up Mayweather because they anticipated Mega Bucks not a hairline profit margin...It's also very likely that the profits earned from PPV was one of the factors leading up to the Time/Warner/CBS dispute. The new settlement between TimeWarner and CBS/Showtime will further cut into those profits....... On a side note I read recently that Schafer believes a Khan fight in England could fill a 100,000 seat venue. Which might be doable in England. Good luck in getting the MoneyMan to forsake the MGM anytime soon. But there is no know place in the know universe where Khan vs Mayweather out sells Money vs Paq, in an extravaganza that would have world-wide appeal. Khan must first get past a credible opponent and notch an incredibly impressive victory under his belt before we can even begin that discussion. The chinny Brit still has a ways to go before he's considered worthy of a P4P fight. Personally I think Paq vs Money is possible, and possibly more imminent than what we've been lead to believe. Arum is capable or working out a creative solution to make the fight happen if he has a mind to do so... it may just be a matter of time.

The Shadow says:

*********************************************************************************************************** ****************** I dunno Shadow,.... call it ignorant, narrowminded, or whatever you have, but I have to disagree, Mayweather took advantage of an excellent opportunity by jumping over to Showtime, nearly double the pay, and he gets a guarantee, in addition to being able to promote and insert his own fighters into various Showtime sports programming. But Without anyone divulging revenue or being able to provide hard figures from Showtime/CBS, their Sponors, the Advertising Costs to promote the fight...and the distribution costs. I can come to no other conclusion that Showtime didn't hit the financial bonanza they were expecting from the Guerrero fight and this is why the Canelo fight was made. (at a time when Devon Alexander was being test marketed as Floyds next opponent for public consumption) Usually 250,000 PPV sales can be considered a success if the fighter is getting paid a quarter to one million dollars... But how many Sales does it take to make a profit when mayweather is making 20 times the norm? Showtime must promote more vigoriously than HBO because Showtime has a subscription of about 21 Million compared to HBO's 31 Million households. All this in addition to the cost of booking theatres in major cities for those who didn't have cable or just wanting to view it on the big screen? How much money was spent on procuring these local closed circuit venues and how much money is lost when only 25 people show up to theatre that has a 200 seat capacity? I'm sure the Mayweather /Guerrero event wasn't a debacle... a 19$ million dollar gate along with a 870,000 buys would normally be considered a fiscal windfall if Floyd was getting regular pay. But even if Showtime didn't lose money and earned a small margin of profit,.. They can't be happy with putting on an event that generates $55 - $65 million and only make few million profit after 3-5 months of building the event after the smoke clears. Showtime scooped up Mayweather because they anticipated Mega Bucks not a hairline profit margin...It's also very likely that the profits earned from PPV was one of the factors leading up to the Time/Warner/CBS dispute. The new settlement between TimeWarner and CBS/Showtime will further cut into those profits....... On a side note I read recently that Schafer believes a Khan fight in England could fill a 100,000 seat venue. Which might be doable in England. Good luck in getting the MoneyMan to forsake the MGM anytime soon. But there is no know place in the know universe where Khan vs Mayweather out sells Money vs Paq, in an extravaganza that would have world-wide appeal. Khan must first get past a credible opponent and notch an incredibly impressive victory under his belt before we can even begin that discussion. The chinny Brit still has a ways to go before he's considered worthy of a P4P fight. Personally I think Paq vs Money is possible, and possibly more imminent than what we've been lead to believe. Arum is capable or working out a creative solution to make the fight happen if he has a mind to do so... it may just be a matter of time.


Like I said, that event was not a matter of revenues vs. expenses. Even if you look at it from a ROI standpoint, you have to do it at the end of the contract.

And Floyd didn't necessarily get that much of a raise. His guarantee was just higher. His back-end profits could've been smaller.

But looking at just revenues vs. expenses is missing the point completely of what CBS is doing with Showtime.

Carmine Cas says:

Great points Shadow, let's see if Showtime can sustain it's attack. And how the results are at the end of May's contract. However I think Showtime is laying the ground work with it's recent cards.

HBO does have the infrastructure and experience to rebound nicely though

Right now Showtime is faced with the dilemma of not only finding an opponent whose skilled enough to challenge Mayweather but also popular enough to carry the promotion and raise hype with him

I'd love to see Sergio Martinez come back healthy and challenge Mayweather

I'm still a fan of May-Pac although I think it will again be easy money for Mayweather, back in 2009 and 2010 I fell victim to the hype and believed Pacquiao could hand Mayweather his first loss.

I don't know if this fight will happen, but if both parties end up running out of resources it will become a strong possibility

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