Floyd Mayweather may have handily defeated Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, but both welterweights ended the night with record-setting paychecks. Their final earnings won’t be determined until all of the pay-per-view buys are accounted for, but the two boxers could split upwards of $300 million.
Not only was Mayweather the winner in the ring, but his payday will be significantly more than that of Pacquiao's. The pre-fight agreement reportedly called for Mayweather to get a 60/40 split of the purse, and the latest reports say Mayweather could earn upwards of $200 million for the fight. When the initial agreement was made in February, it was reported that the paydays for both Mayweather and Pacquiao would total $200 million.
Before any of the PPV numbers were known, Mayweather was paid $100 million. He flashed the check at the post-fight press conference, and even showed it to the "SportsCenter" anchors that were interviewing him on ESPN.
"No pictures, though," Mayweather said, as he took ethe check out in front of reporters. "Don't want any pictures of it."
The latest estimates for Pacquiao say that he made upwards of $100 million for his role in the fight, and some predictions right before the bout said he could earn close to $120 million. While Mayweather was given $100 million after the fight, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao would be paid $50 million on Monday, no matter how well the PPV sold.
Saturday’s mega-fight was more than five years in the making, and issues with drug testing and a split of the purse, as well as bad blood between the promoters, prevented the bout from happening when the boxers were at their peaks. But while some fans might think that the fight happened a half-decade too late, Mayweather and Pacquiao benefited financially from making the public wait.
At least $300 million, and possibly more, will be split between Mayweather and Pacquiao. If they had fought in 2010, their combined purse would have totaled an estimated $150 million. Even with inflation, that’s equal to just $165 million in 2015.
“We had six years of teasing the public,” Arum told Bloomberg Business on the week of the fight. “You couldn’t buy the publicity.”
Mayweather is consistently the highest paid athlete in sports, but Saturday’s fight put him in a whole new stratosphere. While he possibly made $200 million in one night, only nine American athletes have ever signed contracts worth more than $200 million. The length of those deals have all been seven years or more.
Improving his record to 48-0, Mayweather’s career earnings could reach $600 million. Pacquiao’s earnings now approach $450 million in 65 fights.