Manny Pacquiao will fight Brandon Rios at the Venetian Macao on Saturday night. This will mark the first time since 2007 that the Filipino star has fought outside of Las Vegas, and the first time since 2006 that he has fought outside of the United States. There are numerous theories floating around regarding why he and his camp made the decision to not fight in America this time around, but they’re not pertinent to this discussion.
All that matters is that Pacquiao is still getting paid a ton of money to do what he does best, and so long as that remains true, he doesn’t need Floyd Mayweather Jr. at all.
Pacquiao, 34, is coming off back-to-back losses. It is widely believed that his best days are behind him, and that even if he prevails over Rios, it’s all downhill from that point forward. Despite that, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Pacquiao is guaranteed $18 million for this weekend’s showdown. If all goes according to plan, he can rake in around $30 million.
For all the talk about how he’s fallen off and can’t command the paydays he used to, Pacquiao is still commanding a pretty hefty payday. Again, he’s coming off two consecutive losses, is fighting overseas and is taking on a relative mainstream unknown in Rios. Yet, somehow, he’s still on the verge of pulling in $30 million. Is that Mayweather money? No. But Mayweather is undefeated and widely regarded as the sport’s pound-for-pound king. This is the next best thing.
If the motivation for Pacquiao to fight Mayweather is pride, then sure, he will still want to fight him after the Rios bout. However, if pride hasn’t factored into the equation to date, why would it suddenly start now? Money, meanwhile, is always great motivation. And as it stands, Pacquiao is making plenty of it without having to fight Mayweather. So long as that remains true, it’s just one more obstacle to making Mayweather-Pacquiao a reality.
Pacquiao is guaranteed $18 million and can make close to $30 million. Rios is guaranteed $4 million. Zou Shiming is earning $500,000.— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) November 20, 2013