Since Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao made it official on Friday evening that, at long last, they would square off in the biggest fight in boxing in decades -- and one of the biggest fights in the more than 100-year history of the sport -- there have been so many questions about the particulars of the event.
Only the basics have been announced: The fight will take place May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and be televised on pay-per-view, produced and distributed jointly by rival networks Showtime (which has a contract with Mayweather) and HBO (which has Pacquiao under contract).
So what about the rest? I will try to answer, to the best of my knowledge, many of the numerous questions that I have been asked about the fight in the past few days.
What weight will they fight at?
The maximum weight is the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
What titles will be a stake?
Mayweather and Pacquiao will be meeting to unify their three alphabet belts. Mayweather will be defending his WBC and WBA titles, as well as the lineal championship, while Pacquiao will be defending his WBO belt. Unofficially, the winner of the fight will be regarded as the pound-for-pound king and cement his legacy as the No. 1 fighter of the era.
What's the fight called?
No fancy title -- simply Mayweather-Pacquiao. Mayweather wanted his name first and Pacquiao had no issue with that. Mayweather will also receive the other champion's perks, meaning he will walk to the ring last and be introduced last.
What's the word on the tickets?
There has not yet been any announcement about the ticket specifics yet, but one thing you can count on is that they will be very expensive, if you can even get one. The gate record for a fight was set by Mayweather's 2013 blockbuster with Canelo Alvarez. It generated a little more than $20 million in tickets sales to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Organizers of Mayweather-Pacquiao are looking to scale the house to produce a gate of about $40 million from the sale of probably a little more than 16,000 tickets. The highest-priced tickets are expected to have a record face value of $5,000, with the cheapest ticket being $1,000. However, with such heavy demand for tickets from the promoters, networks and casino (which all have to pay for tickets), it is doubtful more than a few hundred, maybe 1,000 tickets will be offered for public sale. If there is a public sale, no date has been announced.
Since tickets will be so scarce, what about the price of the pay-per-view?
Again, no official announcement on the price, but expect it to be more than the usual pay-per-view, which for a major fight is typically from $60 to $75, depending on whether you buy it in standard definition or high definition. Mayweather-Pacquiao will likely carry a price tag of about $89.95, with many cable and satellite providers tacking on another $10 for HD. That means you're probably looking at about $100 for the PPV in HD.
Is there a rematch clause?
As surprising as it may seem, there is no rematch clause for either fighter. If it's a great fight and the demand is there for a rematch, certainly they could make another deal for a second fight. But according to both sides, nothing will contractually bind them to a second fight. As an aside, I am told that this was not a major point of contention during the negotiations.
What's the word on the drug testing?
The first time Mayweather and Pacquiao tried make a deal to fight in late 2009 and early 2010, all of the deal points had been agreed to except for the method of drug testing, and the fight fell apart. Mayweather demanded that both fighters undergo random, Olympic-style blood and urine testing leading to the fight and after the fight. Pacquiao did not want to do it Mayweather's way. Now they are in agreement.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency, which Mayweather has used to test himself and his opponents for years, will handle the testing in conjunction with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Pacquiao has used the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which is similar to USADA, in some recent fights but agreed to use Mayweather's preferred testing agency.
Contrary to reports of a $5 million penalty for a failed test, sources with knowledge of the agreement said there is no financial penalty to either fighter in the contract.
What's the deal with the gloves?
According to sources with direct knowledge of the contract, the gloves each boxer will use are specifically spelled out in the agreement. Each will stick to the usual brand of gloves he typically uses. That means Mayweather will wear Grant gloves and Pacquiao will wear Reyes. Because the fight is a welterweight bout, they will each wear 8-ounce gloves, as per Nevada State Athletic Commission rules.
Since HBO and Showtime are teaming up for the pay-per-view, who will call the fight?
According to multiple sources, it will be a joint effort. James Brown, best known for hosting the NFL studio show on CBS, Showtime's parent company, is slated to host the pay-per-view telecast. The fight is expected to be called by a team of blow-by-blow announcer Jim Lampley (HBO) and analysts Al Bernstein (Showtime) and Roy Jones Jr. (HBO). Max Kellerman (HBO) and Jim Gray (Showtime) are expected to handle the reporter/interview roles. As far as unofficial scoring of the bout, HBO's Harold Lederman and Showtime's Steve Farhood are expected to score the fight.
Will there be a "24/7" buildup show or an "All Access"?
HBO hypes its pay-per-view fights with "24/7" documentaries, while Showtime does the same with its "All Access" series. For this fight, according to sources from both networks, they will not employ either, although there will be programming in advance of the bout. The plan now is for each network to produce a documentary on its fighter to air during the lead-up to the fight.
Who will be the ring announcer?
There will be two, Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon Jr., both Hall of Famers. Buffer ("Let's get ready to rumble!!!!") has been the regular HBO ring announcer for years, even though he is an independent contractor. Lennon ("It's Showtime!!!") has been the primary Showtime ring announcer for many years. They will share duties, as they did when HBO and Showtime did their only other joint pay-per-view in 2002, for the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson heavyweight championship fight.
Buffer and Lennon are expected to handle it in a similar fashion. That means Buffer will probably bring Pacquiao into the ring and introduce him, with Lennon doing the same for Mayweather, his network's fighter. In the event of a knockout, the network whose fighter wins would have its ring announcer proclaim the result. If it goes to a decision they would alternate reading the scorecards and decision so as not rob the world of the drama.
What's the word on the undercard?
Typically, major pay-per-view cards have four televised bouts, the main event and three undercard fights. This one will have three -- the main event and two undercard fights. One will be determined by Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter, and one will be determined by Mayweather Promotions, Floyd's company. The two televised bouts have not been determined, but Top Rank's Bob Arum told ESPN.com that his plan is to have featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko make a defense in the Top Rank bout. As for non-televised fights, Top Rank will put on two additional bouts of its choice as will Mayweather Promotions, meaning seven total bouts on the card.
Will there be a cross-country promotional tour?
No. According to sources with knowledge of the contract, it stipulates that everyone involved must appear at only two news conferences. One to kick off the promotion will take place in mid-March; Pacquiao is expected to come to the United States from the Philippines around March 9. No site for that one has been set but it almost certainly will be in New York or Los Angeles. There will also be the standard final news conference during fight week at the MGM Grand.
How are they going to split all that money?
The Mayweather side gets 60 percent of the revenue and the Pacquiao side gets 40 percent of a fight that seems likely to gross more than $400 million.
How much will each man make?
That is not clear exactly because so much of what they will earn will come from what the pay-per-view sells. The more it sells, the more they make. But ballpark, you're looking at Mayweather making well in excess of $100 million and Pacquiao making a bit less. Remember, about half the gross revenue generated by the pay-per-view goes to the cable and satellite providers. Millions more will go to cover expenses and to pay promoters, managers and HBO and Showtime.