Top Rank founder Bob Arum is realistic over the position Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao will assume within boxing’s rich history.
The highly anticipated showdown between the two pound-for-pound superstars in Las Vegas on May 2 stands unquestionably as the defining match-up of the modern era, following a five-year clamour for the fight to be made.
A host of financial records are set to be smashed as the WBC, WBA and WBO welterweight titles assume a secondary importance to which of the multi-weight champions will be crowned the best of their era.
But Pacquiao’s promoter Arum, who began his involvement in the sport working with Muhammad Ali six decades ago and helped to mastermind the unforgettable “Four Kings” showdowns between Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran in the 1980s, has the benefit of considerable hindsight when cutting through the justifiable hype.
“Because of the technology available it will definitely be the biggest financial event in boxing of all time,” he told World Boxing News.
“Where it ranks as far as interest goes, that’s debatable.
“I go back to the first Ali-Frazier fight – the whole world stopped that day. I remember when Ray Leonard fought Roberto Duran in Montreal, I remember when Ray fought Marvin Hagler. Those were huge, huge, huge events.
“Oscar de la Hoya against Felix Trinidad was another huge event.
“It’s very, very hard to measure because of the technology that we have today and the method of communication that enables the event to be seen by more people who pay for it than ever before.
“We have 100 million homes in the Untied States who can buy the fight on pay-per-view. We have God knows how many millions in the UK that can buy the fight on pay-per-view.
“Those are developments that didn’t exist when Ali and Frazier fought.
“This is truly for this era, for this century, the biggest fight. But I’m not willing to say it’s the biggest of all time.”
Follow Dom Farrell on Twitter @DomFarrell1986