In what will be the one of the highlights for boxing in 2008, Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya announced Thursday that they had agreed to a bout that will take place December 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
“It is important for boxing that at least once a year there is a matchup which truly transcends the sport, which captures the imagination of sports fans everywhere, and which has everyone buzzing,” HBO Pay-Per-View chief Mark Taffet told ESPN. “De La Hoya-Pacquiao is that matchup for 2008. It is a true megafight which people will be talking about for years to come.”
The fight is expected to draw huge interest from fans around the world as it features two of the sports most popular figures. Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs) is the current belt holder for 135 pound lightweight division and De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs) is one of the most recognizable faces in the sport with his popularity transcending boxing. Both will have to change weight classes to fight each other as Pacquiao will have to move up two classes, while De La Hoya will come down one.
According to ESPN, the fight is expected to produce in excess of $100 million and the Las Vegas office for Pacquiao promoter Top Rank has already been flooded with calls for tickets to the event even though tickets have not been priced and are not available.
Face value of the tickets are expected to high due to the demand of the event and a search conducted of the top three secondary ticket market sellers, according to TicketNews’s exclusive rankings, showed tickets available for purchase at a big price. The lowest priced ticket available as of this morning was an upper level seat listed on TicketLiquidator that cost $754 each, not including fees. The most expensive seats that were floor seats listed on StubHub at $17,025 apiece.
Prior to Pacquiao’s rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez, it was believed that a victory for Pacquiao would set up a potential bout with De La Hoya. Following his close win on March 15, talks began between promoters for both fighters.
As little as 10 days before the announcement of the fight, it looked like no fight would happen. Like much of boxing, the agreement came down to money as the fighters were at a stalemate on the revenue split that each would receive. Luckily for boxing fans, the deal was revived with official monetary numbers not being released.
“I am glad we were able to make this fight happen because while Pacquiao is at the pinnacle of his success and has defeated all of the top fighters he has faced, I am going to show the world that it stops with me,” De La Hoya said to ESPN. “Dec. 6 can’t get here soon enough.”