By Victor Ochieng
There are many professional boxers who make good money, but only a few reach the tune of $40 million for just one fight. Boxers aside, many everyday people wouldn’t turn down even as little as $4,000 for one night’s job. But Filipino boxer-turned-congressman Manny Pacquiao isn’t your typical man.
Pacquiao turned down a $40 million offer in 2012 to give boxing fans a fight of a lifetime — a fight against Floyd Mayweather.That’s a lot of money in guaranteed payment. But it all depends on the kind of fight we’re talking about and how much that fight would generate. The fact that it was the opponent who offered the deal was in itself suspect. Mayweather is known for his great business acumen, and this was definitely one example since he expected to earn tons of money, while offering Manny a flat fee. Still, it’s almost impossible for many boxers to get such an offer let alone turn it own.
It is now becoming apparent that despite popular belief that Mayweather was shying away from fighting Pacquiao, he had already tried to give the world that fight back in 2012. In an interview with Bob Costas, Mayweather revealed that he made the offer and was ready to pay half the amount upfront.
“I got on the phone with Manny. I done my homework, and seen what he was used to making in big fights. So the offer that I gave him. I offered him $40 million, and said that I would wire him $20 million within 72 hours.”
Pacquiao must have realized that a fight that many boxing fans had been yearning for would be a top earner, and thus, a percentage would serve him better.
It now turns out that his move to turn down the offer was a smart one.
“Pacman” finally fought “Money” Mayweather on May 2, 2015. Although the fighter agreed to a 60-40 split with Mayweather, he still earned way more than the $40 million he turned down about 3 years ago.
The fight generated $40 million in pay-per-view sales, while the ticked sales brought in $72 million. International syndication, sponsorship and closed-circuit streams added another $61 million. All that put together, plus additional income streams, totaled $573 million. From that money, Pacquiao earned somewhere between $137-160 million.
Pacquiao’s move is a good lesson for other athletes to take a strong stand whenever they’re making contractual decisions. Once you believe in yourself and know your worth, you can confidently negotiate for fat deals.