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Earlier this week, Floyd Mayweather took to Twitter to challenge Manny Pacquiao to a May 5 bout. It’s not hard to understand why Mayweather—whose jail term on a domestic violence charge was delayed so he could honor an agreement to fight on that date—wants to generate some positive press by agitating for the much-hoped-for showdown, but it’s equally easy to see why Pacquiao is in no hurry to pick up the gauntlet.
As reported by Fox Sports, Pacquiao’s camp wants the fight to be held in a new 45,000-seat outdoor arena currently under construction in Las Vegas. The venue won’t be ready in time for a May 5 event, and would offer nearly three times the seating capacity of the MGM Grand (where Mayweather’s May 5 fight would be held).
Pacquiao’s camp estimates that the difference in gate revenues with the larger arena would be in the territory of $30 million, a substantial difference even on the scale of what would certainly be the most lucrative matchup in the history of the sport.
As much as Mayweather would love to land a top-tier fight before his stay in jail, both fighters would make more money by delaying the bout, and Pacquiao gains nothing by advancing it.
The key from a fan’s perspective (and, in large measure, from Pac-Man’s) is that waiting until after Mayweather’s release won’t hurt the chances of the fight happening at all. Mayweather’s sentence is only 90 days, and he’s not expected to serve that long.
In a sport where six-month delays between matches are the norm, why should Pacquiao worry about a difference of a few weeks?
Obviously, it would be a pity for fans if this fight never happens, but that’s not the immediate question. For the fight to happen on May 5 benefits Mayweather…and basically no one else.