There isn't a deal yet for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to fight each other, but as talks have intensified, speculation has grown about how well the pay-per-view sales will do.
Everyone involved in trying to put the event together is convinced it will break all existing records in terms of pay-per-view sales, pay-per-view revenue and live paid gate.
Currently, the most sales for a fight came in 2007, when a match at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya said 2.5 million. It was initially reported as 2.4 million, but sales eventually grew to 2.5 million.
The record for the most pay-per-view revenue on a fight came in 2013 when Mayweather met Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand. That fight, which sold 2.2 million buys, generated $150 million in pay-per-view sales because it was priced higher.
The largest gate in boxing history is $20 million, set by Mayweather-Alvarez in 2013. Promoters have talked of scaling the MGM Grand Garden to produce a $40 million gate for Mayweather-Pacquiao, with the cheapest tickets being $1,000 and seats on the floor at $5,000.
Bovada, an online sports book, has put an over/under on sales for the fight at a stunning 3.15 million. If it hit that number, it would beat the existing record by 650,000, which in and of itself is an extraordinary number for a pay-per-view.
Bovada opened both over and under at minus-110. But the line has moved and under is the current favor. Right now, under is minus-160 and over is plus-120. For non-bettors, that means that if you believe the final announced total PPV sales will be under 3.15 million, you would have to lay $1.60 for every $1 you want to win. So, if you bet $1.60 on under and it was under, you'd get back $2.60 -- your original $1.60 bet, plus the $1 profit.
On the other side, over is an underdog. So that means that for every $1 you bet on the over, you'll receive $1.20 in profit. Thus, if the sales exceed 3.15 million, a bettor who wagers $1 would get back $2.20 -- his original $1 bet plus the $1.20 profit.
My own estimate is the fight, if it happens in May 2, would do 3.25 million, so I'd be the over. It's a phenomenally high number, but the interest in the fight is extremely intense, and it's essentially been promoted for five years as the negotiations have been on-again, off-again and the men have remained in the news.
But if it fails to be made on May 2, I would bet it loses its luster and doesn't do nearly as well as in the unlikely event it would ever get made again down the line.