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The Most Watched Fight in Boxing History

On May 2, 2015, two of the best boxers of their generation, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, finally met in the ring after years of anticipation and negotiation. The fight, dubbed as “The Fight of the Century” or “The Battle for Greatness”, was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was broadcasted by HBO and Showtime in a joint pay-per-view (PPV) production.

The fight was a huge commercial success, breaking multiple records in terms of revenue and viewership. According to official figures, the fight generated more than $600 million in total revenue, including $410 million from PPV sales, $72 million from ticket sales, $50 million from international broadcast rights, $19 million from closed-circuit telecasts, $13 million from sponsorships, and $12 million from merchandise.

The fight also set the record for the most PPV buys in boxing history, with 4.6 million purchases in the United States alone, surpassing the previous record of 2.48 million buys for the 2007 fight between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya2. The fight also attracted millions of viewers from around the world, especially from the Philippines, where Pacquiao is a national hero and icon. The fight was watched by an estimated 4.4 million households in the Philippines, representing a 52.4% rating share.

The fight was also a historic event for the sport of boxing, as it featured two of the most decorated and accomplished fighters of all time. Mayweather, who entered the fight with a perfect record of 47-0, was widely regarded as the best defensive boxer and the highest-paid athlete in the world. Pacquiao, who had a record of 57-5-2, was the only eight-division world champion and one of the most popular and influential figures in the sport.

The fight itself, however, did not live up to the hype and expectations of many fans and critics, who were hoping for a more exciting and competitive contest. The fight was largely dominated by Mayweather, who used his superior speed, accuracy, and defense to outbox and outpoint Pacquiao, who struggled to land his signature punches and combinations. Mayweather won the fight by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring it 118-110, 116-112, and 116-112 in his favor.

The fight was also marred by controversy, as it was revealed that Pacquiao had fought with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, which he claimed had affected his performance. Pacquiao and his team were criticized for not disclosing the injury before the fight, and for requesting a pain-killing injection on the day of the fight, which was denied by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Mayweather and his team accused Pacquiao of making excuses, and demanded that he pay a penalty for breaching the contract.

Despite the controversy and the criticism, the fight remains the most viewed match in boxing history, and a landmark event in the history of the sport.


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