For a ten-year period from 2005 to 2015, boxing heroes Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao – the 2 richest sportsmen in the world, reigned supreme over the sport with no less than 31 pay-to-view events to their names before they eventually participated in the biggest fight ever staged.
Even the recent Mayweather versus Conor McGregor cross-codes bout couldn’t eclipse the 4.6m purchases the Pacquiao fight secured on May 2nd, two years ago, which further cements the legacy created by the pair.
Mayweather and Pacquiao have left a gaping hole behind them as their careers wind down to almost a complete stop, with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko attempting to fill impossible shoes moving forward.
It’s hard to see how anyone could get anywhere near what the two legends managed to achieve during their respective careers, and to have two flying the flag at once spoiled the fans to the point of excess.
So who can break out and even take boxing to that next level again? Oscar De La Hoya, himself part of the Pay-Per-View movement during his career, would like to think it will be Canelo, although the Mexican is not as a big a draw in the United States as he is in his own country.
Whilst Mayweather polarized people into watching his fights, Pacquiao crossed borders as Canelo wishes to do – having already amassed almost six million sales since entering the paid market in 2013.
Canelo was passed the torch himself fighting Mayweather, a luxury most fighters will no longer have, whilst recent opponent Golovkin only sold 320,000 in two contests before facing his middleweight rival.
It could be a long road for the sport to once again return to those heady days of Mayweather and Pacquiao, both of whom have fully earned their place as the biggest PPV names to ever grace a boxing ring.
So how do we move on? – Only time will tell….