Las Vegas (AFP) - Record-shattering revenue totals for Manny Pacquiao's upcoming boxing showdown with unbeaten Floyd Mayweather could surpass $400 million, promoter Bob Arum told ESPN in a report on the sports network's website.
The welterweight title unification fight May 2 in Las Vegas will generate $74 million from just over 15,000 tickets at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Pacquiao promoter Arum told ESPN, flattening the old mark of just over $20 million for Mayweather's 2013 fight with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in the same venue.
Promoters first aimed for $40 million, then boosted the ticket prices from $1,000 to $1,500 at the low end and $5,000 to $7,500 for the best seats due to huge demand for the ducats, Arum said.
But organizers have now shuffled the number of seats in various price ranges and boosted top seats to $10,000 to raise the live gate total from $50 million to $74 million.
"It's crazy, but it is what it is," Arum told ESPN. "It's amazing."
And few if any seats will be available for public sale, with promoters, telecasters HBO and Showtime, the fighters and the host venue each taking a share of the tickets.
"We'll probably have a handful of tickets that will go on sale to the public next week," Arum said. "It's mania."
There will be only about 1,100 seats at $10,000, none of them for public sale, according to the report.
Boxing's record for pay-per-view purchases is the 2.4 million buys from Mayweather's 2007 split-decision victory over Oscar de la Hoya, but with Mayweather-Pacquiao having taken more than five years to come together with the planet's top pound-for-pound fighters, expectations of 3 million pay-per-view buys at about $100 each could bring $300 million in sales for US, Puerto Rican and Canadian markets alone.
"We wouldn't have gotten a fraction of these numbers if we made the fight five years ago," Arum said. "It turned out that we're doing the fight at the right time, I guess, not that we're geniuses for waiting this long."
Global rights are expected to ring up another $35 million, with a record $10 million already spent for rights in the Philippines, where Pacquiao is a Congressman as well as an iconic figure.
"Between the gate, the foreign television sales and the closed circuit, which we can't even calculate yet, you're looking at over $120 million. And that's before one pay-per-view has been sold in the US," Arum told ESPN.
Arum said Tecate beer, a long-time Pacquiao sponsor, won title sponsor rights with a $5.6 million bid, $400,000 more than rival Corona, a long-time backer of Mayweather.
"We've never see anything like that on a beer sponsor," Arum said. "Both companies were after it. It's a huge number."
Mayweather's camp receives 60 percent of the revenue with Pacquiao's side taking home 40 percent.
Arum said the contract gives Pacquiao the choice of who sings his homeland's national anthem before the bout while Mayweather decides who will sing "The Star Spangled Banner".
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