Monday, November 16, 2009

Could Pacquaio & Mayweather Fight At Yankee Stadium?

On the heels of Manny Pacquiao's 12th round TKO against Miguel Cotto that took place in the wee hours of this past Sunday morning, the New York Times wonders if the first boxing match in the New Yankee Stadium could be the biggest fight boxing has seen in quite some time:
With the undefeated Mayweather and an international superstar in Pacquiao, the biggest draws in boxing, Greenburg said the bout would deserve a “Super Bowl-type stage.” That presents an enticing option, as early as next May — Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are interested in hosting a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight next spring, according to a person in baseball who spoke on the condition of anonymity. There have been no formal discussions, and there will not be before an agreement is reached between the fighters, but high-ranking Yankees employees have told boxing officials of their interest.
Of course, in order for this to happen, Mayweather and Pacquiao actually have to agree to fight, something that should be a foregone conclusion but isn't. One thing that promises to make these discussions difficult is the relationship between Floyd Mayweather and Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter. Floyd used to be a client of Arum's at Top Rank but bought out his contract in 2006 for Golden Boy.

Since then, lawsuits have been filed, insults heaved and Mayweather has gone so as to say that he wouldn't fight Pacquiao if Bob Arum was involved. At the press conference for the Pacquaio vs. Cotto fight that took place at Yankee Stadium, Arum was confident that Yankee Stadium would host a big fight this year but pessimistic that it would be this one.

One obvious advantage that Yankee Stadium has over anywhere in Las Vegas is seating capacity. The arena in the MGM Grand seats about 17,000 people while a fight in Yankee Stadium with the field being utilized for seating would comfortably hold over 60,000. However, the 45,000 or so marginal seats that would be gained by moving the fight to Yankee Stadium would probably average say, $75 a pop, equating to just a rounding error in comparison to where the bread will really be buttered: Pay Per View buys.

Early estimates place that number for Saturday's Pacquiao vs. Cotto fight at about 1.3 to 1.4 million (at $55 each) and should the mega fight come to fruition, it would easily surpass those numbers. Floyd makes his home in Vegas and might use the location as a bargaining chip in what are sure to be contentious fight negotiations.

Each participant would be guaranteed tens of millions of dollars. The public clearly wants to see a match up between the two best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet. Each can make the case that they are the best fighter of this generation but neither will be validated until they beat the other.

It would be cool to have such a huge event take place at Yankee Stadium, but the most important thing is that it actually does happen. When push comes to shove, I think it will. Arum and Mayweather should be able to put their personal distaste for each other aside for the sake of the almighty dollar. We all know Floyd's a fan of that.

[Update: There is a similar story about the Cowboys' new stadium, for what it's worth. The venue itself would be much more conducive to hosting a huge fight but I wonder how many tickets they could sell in Dallas, which isn't the best boxing market.]

No comments:

Post a Comment