Mayweather Vs Pacquiao Round-Up: Sparring Folklore, Economics, Feudin’

Read this story about the last man to beat Floyd Mayweather (no, not Jose Luis Castillo — ZING) and weep. It’s a great, tragic tale about Serafim Todorov.

Then, read up below for some thoughts on the latest Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao news, with some brief accompanying analytical thoughts. (Some of them, among other topics, were also discussed in Alex McClintock’s latest Mayweather vs Pacquiao podcast, featuring yours truly.)


  • Cost of the pay-per-view. Yup, every sign still points to the cost of the PPV being $99 in high definition. Boxing so silly. Even when it finally gives the fans the fight they’ve wanted more than any other, it makes it hard for them to actually get it (and yes, it’s not that far off the rate of inflation for PPVs, but $100 is still a ton of cash).
  • Ticket sales. This is an even more pronounced version of the above. A ticket broker is reportedly selling some tickets for $87,500 each, and even celebrities are turning up their noses at prices like that. Remember, the lowest price ticket will be $1,500, for the rafters. Unclear how ticket sales will go at this rate.
  • Revenue generated, revenue-sharing dispute. All of these jacked-up prices equal a fight that promoter Bob Arum predicts can bring in $400 million (keep in mind Arum is prone to exaggeration), and has prompted a feud over who gets what share of the money. It’s a little odd this isn’t the kind of thing that would have been resolved during the fight negotiations.
  • Separate HBO/Showtime programming. Over at Awful Announcing, I wrote about the separate documentaries HBO and Showtime are doing for May 2 fight. One thing I left out, because I don’t take series like this as serious documentaries: Too bad we’re likely to get hagiography of each fighter on each of their sponsoring networks.
  • MGM Grand competition. Just look at all this conflict! This one — where MGM blacks out its competitors in Vegas from airing the fight anywhere — is apparently more routine.

Sparring Folklore, Feuding

  • Sparring in the Pacquiao camp. As Alex pointed out, if you have a secret weapon who’s a defector from the Mayweather camp — and c’mon, it really can only be Luis Arias — don’t tell people where you can find him, i.e., your house. Trainer Freddie Roach seems to be doing some things well, like bringing in Dierry Jean. Incidentally, I’m slightly worried that one of these guys might overtrain, but word out of Pacquiao’s camp is that he’ll do less sparring than usual.
  • Sparring in the Mayweather camp. Depending on whom you believe, 1. Floyd Mayweather either got roughed up by Zab Judah in sparring, or 2. Judah got fucked up by Mayweather in sparring, or 3. some random Mexican messed up Mayweather in sparring. In order of believability, that all goes 2., 1., 3. In terms of believable things in boxing, overall, things that are said to happen in training camp are near the bottom.
  • Roach vs. the Mayweather trainers. Roach recently talked about why he and Roger Mayweather never got along, but the animosity tends to extend to the whole family, and Floyd, Sr. in turn recently talked about hating Roach. Another Mayweather, Jeff, said former Pacquiao strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza turned Mayweather strength and conditioning coach is offering some tips on Pacquiao’s weaknesses, which can’t hurt.
  • Manny doesn’t like Floyd. Roach also claims that Manny doesn’t like Floyd, which, despite how nice a guy Manny is, still might be true. Manny didn’t exactly like Juan Manuel Marquez, by the end. It made him get careless, so that’s a potential problem. Roach is paying guys to trash talk Manny well during camp, which is probably smart, to de-condition him to getting too worked up.
  • Ali family feud. Muhammad Ali’s family is split on whether “The Greatest” is backing Pacquiao, or neither fighter. Ali has tended to say nice things about Pacquiao over the years through intermediaries, so I’m inclined to buy that the original story was accurate. (If you want to hear others’ predictions for how the fight is going and who’s in whom’s corner, BoxingScene and TMZ tend to wrap them all up, and David P. Greisman asks people on his YouTube channel, and Alex always asks the guests on his podcast.)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.