By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Pacquiao loses “Fight of the Century” to Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao dropped a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather on May 2nd in Las Vegas in the biggest money fight in the history of boxing. An estimated 4.4 million people purchased the inflated $100 pay-per-view event ($90 if you did not want to purchase high definition) as the two best boxers in the sport finally fought. Pacquiao could not deal with the counterpunching of Mayweather. With every attempted punching flurry by Pacquiao, Mayweather silenced with right hands or skirted away from danger. It was a dominating performance by Mayweather, who is a polarizing figure due to a variety of indiscretions, which made Pacquiao the overwhelming crowd favorite.
The fight was a tremendous financial success. The event venue, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, was sold out and overall revenue for the tickets drew over $72 million. There were no complimentary tickets (i.e., free) handed out as everyone, including Pacquiao’s family and friends, had to pay. Thus, it was a pricey cost for Pacquiao who spent a reported $3-$4 million on tickets for his extended family and entourage. The amount of money grossed from U.S. pay-per-view alone exceeded $400 million.
Of course, Pacquiao made over $150 million for this fight. But, that’s not factoring in the amount that is likely to come out from taxes. Still, it’s a nice sum and yet comes in second to Mayweather’s pay which exceeded $200 million. Mayweather agreed to the fight only after a 60-40 split was brokered. After years of negotiations between the two parties that produced no fight, the agreement was monumental. It brought together two networks that usually are competitors (HBO and Showtime) as well as a variety of opposing parties that usually do not like one another.
The night did not go over the way Pacquiao or his fans had wanted. Part of this might be due to the revelation that Pacquiao had a pre-existing shoulder injury he suffered in training for the match. This was only revealed at the post-fight news conference and it could be an explanation for Pacquiao’s loss. He claimed that the Nevada Athletic State Commission (the regulating body authorizing the fight) was to authorize a pain-relieving shot prior to the fight, only for it to deny it to him on fight night. Explanation or not, it did not persuade Mayweather who stated that there would be no rematch. One might assume he may change his mind if he were to receive another advantageous split of the revenue.
To add insult to injury (literally), Pacquiao is being sued for not disclosing his injury. Not by just one person, but there are at least 13 different lawsuits which claim he should have let people know of his injury prior to them purchasing a ticket, or the pay-per-view or placing a bet. The cases are pending and we do not know the validity of any of these lawsuits.
In the end, Pacquiao-Mayweather was the fight we wanted five years ago. Maybe the outcome would have been different.
Still, the finances of the fight were astronomical.
As for the fight future of Pacquaio, he appears certain to return to the ring at some point. The shoulder injury will force surgery and we might not see him until 2016. Approaching his late 30s, Pacquiao’s days as a top-notch fighter are waning and we may have seen his best days have passed.
He is still the most popular fighter in the Philippines and an inspiration for many of the Filipino people.
Philippines hosts first UFC event; Munoz retires
On May 16th, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) held its first-ever event in the Philippines to a sold-out arena in Manila. The fights featured several Filipino and Asian fighters. The raucous crowd was very happy that the UFC finally made it to the country. The company has had several promotional tours for the sport featuring UFC talent doing appearances to big crowds over the years. However, it was not until this month that the UFC made its way to the Philippines.
The event was highlighted by the retirement match of Mark Munoz. The Filipino American stated that it would be his last-ever professional fight. Munoz, who was on a 3 fight losing streak, fed off of the Filipino crowd to score a victory in his last fight. He was granted the opportunity to address the crowd in a very emotional speech in both Tagalog and English. At the end, he symbolically took off his fight gloves and left them in the center of the Octagon as a sign that his fight career was over.
Munoz is one of the nice guys in a sport where that is not the norm. An NCAA Champion in amateur wrestling at Oklahoma State, Munoz never had the chance to fight for a title in the UFC. Still, he was a great ambassador for the sport. Up until this month, Munoz owned and operated his own Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym in Southern California. But, he decided to sell it in order to focus on his family and an anti-bullying campaign he founded where he works with young children.
I have had the opportunity to interview Munoz on two occasions and he has always treated me as if I was the most important interview he had that day. He was willing to answer every question and provide genuine quotes. His positive attitude was infectious and his work with kids is commendable. He is a class act and the sport of MMA will definitely miss him. (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.