Five years ago today, Manny Pacquiao fought Floyd Mayweather in the most lucrative boxing match in history.
Going into what has been titled the ‘Battle for Greatness’, Manny Pacquiao was an eight-division world champion and Mayweather was a five-division world champion, therefore making hype surrounding the fight through the roof.
The belts on the line were the unified WBA (Super), WBC, WBO and The Ring welterweight titles.
Billed ‘Fight of the Century’, Mayweather won via unanimous decision with two judges scoring the bout 116-112 and one scoring it 118-110.
Although the fight was considered to be one of the most anticipated sporting events in history, it was largely considered a let down by critics and audiences alike.
Going into the fight, Mayweather was unbeaten and had a record of 47-0 (26KOs). Pacquiao had a record of 57-5-2 (38KOs).
Mayweather raked in $420 million and Pacquiao came out of the ring with $280 million in his back pocket.
As early as 2009, predictions were that the fight would be the highest-grossing scrap in the history of the sport.
Following disagreements regarding money, drug testing and location, the fight took five years to fully materialise into the event it became.
Despite the large amount of hype that surrounded it, critics felt that the bout itself was disappointing, primarily citing Mayweather's defence-oriented strategy in the ring and Pacquiao's difficulty in landing punches on Mayweather.
This had led to some critics re-labelling the fight 'Better Never Than Late' rather than 'Fight of the Century'.
On June 6, 2008, six months after defeating Ricky Hatton by a 10th-round TKO, Mayweather announced his retirement from boxing. This came as a massive shock to the boxing world as the American explained he had ‘lost his love for the sport’.
At the time of his retirement, The Ring had Mayweather ranked as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, with Manny Pacquiao at number two.
During Mayweather's temporary retirement, Pacquiao earned superstar status in much of the western world following his eighth-round TKO victory over Oscar De La Hoya, for which he moved up from lightweight to welterweight.
With two superstars in the same division, it was almost inevitable a super-fight was on the cards.
On December 11, 2010, Golden Boy Promotions sent an eight-page contract to Top Rank, proposing a 50–50 financial split for a fight to take place on March 13, 2010.
The contract was extremely detailed, even including minor features such as who would weigh-in first (Pacquiao), who would enter the ring first (Pacquiao) and who would be introduced first (Mayweather).
The contract included an HBO PPV at a cost of $59.95. Billing was to be "Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, presented by Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and M-P Promotions." Also included in the contract was Olympic-style drug testing.
Venues for the fight being discussed were Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and the Superdome in New Orleans.
Eventually, the fight did happen in one of these venues when fight night finally came on May 2, 2015. The venue was the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Despite talks of a rematch creeping into conversation, nothing has been confirmed from either fighter, and these accusations seem to be a mere shot in the dark at the moment.
If a rematch was confirmed, it is believed the rematch would break records and surpass accolades from the first fight.
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