Leading Off

Leading Off: How much will you pay for fight of century?

Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, pose for photos after a news conference, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Los Angeles. The two are scheduled to fight in Las Vegas on May 2.
Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, pose for photos after a news conference, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Los Angeles. The two are scheduled to fight in Las Vegas on May 2. AP

How much would you pay to see Floyd Mayweather finally get his clock cleaned?

Would you fork over $79, $89 or maybe $99.99? HBO and Showtime, which will simultaneously broadcast the May 2 fight on pay-per-view, hasn’t set the price. But it’s sure to be the highest ever.

The problem, of course, is that there’s no guarantee Mayweather will lose his long-awaited, super duper-mega fight against Manny Pacquiao – a dream showdown that took five years to make a reality.

In fact, Mayweather is a minus-210 favorite, meaning you have to bet $210 to win $100 if you fancy his chances.

Ever since Mayweather beat Oscar De La Hoya in his first mega-fight in 2007, one that set both pay-per-view and gate-receipt records, fight fans have paid handsomely to see world champs and challengers take their best shot at shutting up Mayweather. But for 47 fights, the money-waving, trash-talking boxer has backed his words without defeat.

After the Golden Boy came an overmatched Ricky Hatton, then a slow Juan Manuel Marquez. Shane Mosley was too old at 38, Victor Ortiz too young at 24. Miguel Cotto hit Mayweather hard but not often enough. Robert Guerrero was outclassed and Saul Alvarez couldn’t catch him.

Marcos Maidana was the first boxer to break Mayweather’s cast-iron defense but still lost back-to-back matches.

Along the way, PPV and the gate receipts have made Mayweather annually the richest athlete in the world, including making $105 million in the two Maidana fights in 2014.

Most of the top-10 highest-paid athletes, according to Forbes, make most of their money through endorsements. Mayweather didn’t make a penny outside the ring.

Against Pacquiao, Mayweather’s 60 percent cut will net him between $120 million and $150 million – the Texas Rangers’ 2014 payroll.

It all comes from the “haters,” as Mayweather likes to say, who would love to see him lose.

The question is not who will win the fight. The question is, how much are you willing to pay see it?

Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch

NCAA Men’s Tournament TBS, TNT, TruTV, Ch. 13: Is there a better day for college basketball junkies?


On this date

1955: The USF Dons win the NCAA basketball championship with a 77-63 victory over La Salle.

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