Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 5 | The Great Big Money ProblemWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Apparently, Juan Manuel Marquez will have a fight in the interim before facing Manny Pacquiao again later this year.
Perhaps the plan is to use that bout to elevate Marquez's marketability so Pacquiao vs Marquez 5 will generate far more interest than any of their previous four bouts?
It was recently reported Juan Manuel Marquez is demanding $20 Million USD to face Pacquiao again - A far cry from the $5-6 Million USD he received for each of his last two bouts with Pacquiao.
Manny Pacquiao, on the otherhand, may have pocketed upwards of $30 Million USD for their showndown last December. And in Pacquiao vs Marquez 3, Pacquiao's guarantee, alone, was $22 Million USD.
Marquez's win certainly gives him more leverage in a fifth bout so if they fight again, expect the purse sums to be much closer.
Moreover, since Marquez believes he's won every time against Pacquiao he is undoubtedly convinced he's been short-changed as his purses have been 4 and 5x less than Manny's so don't expect Marquez to relent.
And no, don't expect Manny Pacquiao to take a 50-75% hit purse-wise anytime soon. He is accoustomed to receiving at least $20-30 Million USD per bout so it's not likely he'll fight Marquez for $10 or 12 Million USD the next time around.
While winning can increase a fighter's leverage, its not the most important factor in determining purse splits.
The ability to galvanize public interest is, by far, the most element in determing pay sums - And even after Marquez's thrilling knockout win in December, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are still boxing's biggest draws.
Compared to Marquez, Team Pacquiao knows their fighter is, by far, the bigger draw and will use that as leverage at the bargaining table.
As a result of Manny's drawing power, he'd be loathe to accept a considerable pay decrease - or perhaps any reduction in pay at all.
In a purse split dispute, both Manny and JMM would have strong cases.
Example: Holyfield vs Tyson
For Tyson vs Holyfield I, Holyfield was guaranteed $12 Million USD and Tyson was $30 Million USD. After Evander knocked out Mike, Holyfield earned $35 Million USD for the rematch while Tyson earned $30 Million.
So while Holyfield was compensated for winning and even earned more than Tyson, the bigger draw, there was no reduction in Iron Mike's salary versus their first bout.
However, among the masses, there was much greater interest in the rematch than for Tyson vs Holyfield I so Fight No. 2 generated far more revenue because Evander legitimized himself as an all-time great by conquering Tyson. Moreover, he surprised many who thought he was washed-up.
Marquez, on the other-hand, had already legitimized himself as a boxing legend and legitimate threat even prior to Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 so their next bout, unlike Tyson vs Holyfield, may not naturally generate that massive spike in public interest because of what happened last December.
Marquez vs Bradley, Rios or Alvarado?
Perhaps the plan is to build Marquez's following by putting him on the big stage again against Tim Bradley, Brandon Rios or Mike Alvarado in the interim?
The aforementioned opponents are a far cry from Serhiy Fedchenko, Marquez's tune-up opponent in-between fights 3 and 4 with Pacquiao.
As a matter of fact, Marquez vs Bradley or Rios would be a mini superfight in itself and that's probably why Top Rank is considering them. Defeating any of them in a high-profile event would certainly lift Marquez's marketability.
The problem is all of those fellas are threats. Fedchenko was "safe," but Rios, Bradley and Alvarado are anything but.
If Juan Manuel Marquez, who turns 40 in August, losses prior to facing Pacquiao again, Pacquaio vs Marquez 5 would still be big but the fight would likely take a hit financially due to reduced interest.
If you're Bob Arum, you're probably thinking: How can I generate a lot more interest in Pacquiao vs Marquez 5 (versus fight 4) so I can pay these guys $20 Million apiece without taking heavy risks?