Manny Pacquiao has conceded defeat, and that is why he will now win.
For so long, the “Pac-Man” has stared through the ropes at his nemesis, Floyd “Money” Mayweather as he goaded him mercilessly from the vantage point of a man obsessed with his own creation; The Money Team ethos.
Back in April of 2006, Mayweather turned down the highest purse of his career to date, $8 million to fight Antonio Margarito, and exercised a provision in his contract that let him become a free agent if he paid former promoter Top Rank $750,000.
The founder and CEO of Top Rank is Bob Arum, and he told ESPN’s Dan Rafael at the time that before Mayweather left the organization he asked for a $20 million guaranteed purse to fight Oscar De La Hoya. Arum’s answer would come back to haunt a once fruitful relationship with his biggest star currently to date, Manny Pacquiao.
“He wants $20 million for the De La Hoya fight? It’s not there. Sometimes, my man, you gotta know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. We’ll talk about things down the road,” Arum said.
A year later, Mayweather made $25 million in a fight against De La Hoya that once held the record for total pay per view buys. That record has since been demolished by an eventual Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight in 2015.
After buying himself out of his Top Rank contract, Mayweather took unprecedented control over his career, transforming from “Pretty Boy” to “Money May”. Rather than getting paid a large guaranteed fee up front by a promoter like Top Rank — as is the norm across the sport — Mayweather put on the fights himself and took a cut of the total revenue on the back end. He can thank the two collaborative minds of adviser Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbee for this innovation.
To date, Pacquiao has still been in the old model of doing business. Top Rank would have no reason to change its modus operandi and to date, Pacquiao’s biggest payday was against Floyd Mayweather.
At age 39, Manny has been a Senator, musician, and a basketball player along with being a humanitarian. He is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing, having won eleven major world titles, as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes.
Pacquiao is also the first boxer in history to win major world titles in four of the original eight weight classes: flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight.
So why is it that Mayweather has surpassed Pacquiao in earnings? Simply put: Al Haymon.
When Pacquiao decided to sign with Haymon for his advisement, it was predicated on his success not only with Mayweather but also his overall track record. Haymon singlehandedly changed the game by compiling a talent roster that encompassed all the best and brightest of boxing’s new generation.
From Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Mikey Garcia, Danny Jacobs, and Deontay Wilder, Haymon has shown he has the Midas touch in negotiations. His unparalleled partnership for the Premier Boxing Champions platform with Showtime Sports and other networks has taken the power away from premium cable broadcasters.
Haymon runs boxing. He has all the fighters that matter not named Anthony Joshua, Terence Crawford, and Canelo Alvarez, and wields them like one ring that will unite them all a la a Lord of The Rings boxing cosplay. If Haymon is Gandolf the wise wizard capable of changing the game, then Pacquiao is Frodo, still looking to finish his purpose for the culture.
Pacquiao’s altruism for the people of the Philippines is honorable and costly as well. His need to fix the ailments of the southeast Asian country is tantamount, next to his family’s survival. And with a secret weapon like Al Haymon at the helm, he will surely get there before his body finally taps out of the game.
The announcement of Pacquiao signing with Haymon came with the very visible logo of MP Promotions and the promise that Pacquiao’s promotion company, MP Promotions, will promote all of his upcoming bouts under this new alignment. Also, MP Promotions will also work with Haymon to bring some of the best fighters from the Philippines and Asia to the United States to appear on the PBC series.
Pacquiao needed Al Haymon to secure his legacy as a fighter-businessman and as a global icon. Much like his nefarious counterpart Floyd Mayweather, every successful boxer needs someone in the shadows that steers the ship.
Haymon, unlike former Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz and former promoter Bob Arum, plays the background better than anyone while making his clients richer than they could ever have imagined.
With a potential January return to the ring against Adrien Broner reportedly being floated for a Las Vegas return and then a May 2019 rematch with Mayweather also potentially on the horizon, Pacquiao will be potentially living his best financial life in the coming years.
Can you see Floyd smiling somewhere while planning his bad boy character’s return from retirement?
Yeah, we can as well.