MANILA, Philippines - It didn’t come as a surprise that the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather fight did land in Las Vegas.
“As far as we know it’s always been Vegas,” said Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, yesterday when news broke out that promoters have already agreed to stage the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Koncz, who was with Pacquiao yesterday afternoon, said he expects an announcement to come very soon as to the final details of the fight that is scheduled to take place on March 13.
The state-of-the-art Cowboys Stadium in Dallas made a spirited bid to host the fight, probably the biggest in boxing history, and owner Jerry Jones reportedly made a $25 million offer to get it there.
But Vegas is just the place to hold a fight of this magnitude.
“There’s no other place to hold it than Vegas. With all the casinos and the high-rollers coming over, it’s just hard to match. Nasa Vegas ang pera (The money is in Vegas),” said Pacquiao’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal.
“It’s the MGM. It’s definite,” an article that came out of fanhouse.com quoted a source as saying, and that the choice was based on both fighters’ “familiarity with the location as well as their past success there.”
According to reports, the MGM Grand could generate as much as $28 million in live-gate sales. Also in store are 40,000 closed-circuit seats through MGM/Mirage properties, and at $100 a head could present a total package of $32 million.
And that’s enough to quash Dallas’ $25 million offer.
Pacquiao has fought six times at the MGM Grand, winning four (against Lehlo Ledwaba, Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto), losing once to Erik Morales and drawing once with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Mayweather, on the other hand, has fought six times at the MGM during his unbeaten run of 40 fights. His wins at MGM came against Gregorio Vargas, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Dela Hoya, Hatton and Marquez.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is expected to generate more than $100 million, and both fighters, guaranteed of at least $25 million each, could get as much as $40 million when everything comes in.
A press conference, a major one, is scheduled Jan. 6 in New York and two days after another one will take place in Los Angeles. There will be no press tour for this fight which the whole world wants to see.
The fight is set at 147 lb and Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight crown, which he took from Cotto last month, will be at stake. They will use 8-ounce gloves, and both camps have also agreed to random drug testing weeks leading to the fight.
There’s no confirmation whether both fighters have signed the fight contract, but now that it’s all been agreed upon, there’s no reason for them to hold back and get it done.