Earlier this month, tickets went on sale for Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s return to the ring after a 16-month layoff, a Sept. 17 fight with welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz. Now it's pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao's turn to flex his box-office muscle when tickets for his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez go on sale Friday.
With Marquez safely through his Saturday night tuneup fight against Likar Ramos -- which turned out not to be much of a tuneup, considering Ramos went down and out on the first serious punch in the first round in a sham of a fight -- Top Rank announced the ticket information.
Although the fighters won't embark on their four-city international media tour -- to Manila, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City -- until Sept. 3, tickets for Pacquiao's Nov. 12 welterweight title defense against Marquez (the lightweight champion who is moving up in weight) at Las Vegas' MGM Grand (the same venue as Mayweather-Ortiz) will go on sale Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
Tickets are priced at $1,200, $900, $600, $400 and $200 (not including applicable service charges).
Tickets are limited to 10 per person, only two of which can be $200 tickets. They can be purchased with a credit card by calling Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) or at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Pacquiao and Marquez already have waged two great fights. Given Pacquiao's worldwide popularity and Marquez's passionate Mexican fan base, this figures to be another blockbuster.
I found it interesting that Pacquiao's top ticket of $1,200 is $50 less than Mayweather's top ticket. But I also found it interesting that the lowest Pacquiao ticket of $200 is $50 more than Mayweather's cheapest ticket. There are also some differences in the midlevel prices for each fight. I would imagine when it's all said and done that their gates will come out in the same ballpark, figuring that the Grand Garden Arena is set up almost identically for each fight.
Pacquiao's last four fights that have taken place in Las Vegas have been among the 17 biggest gates in Nevada history.
Here's how Pacquiao's past four Las Vegas fights (all at the MGM Grand) performed on Nevada's all-time list (and keep in mind that two of his past four fights certainly would have been on this list -- against Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey -- but they took place at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and drew more than 30,000 fans each):
• No. 3: Pacquiao's thrashing of Oscar De La Hoya in a big upset in 2008 -- in what turned out to be De La Hoya's final fight -- generated $14,380,300 from 14,468 tickets sold.
• No. 14: Pacquiao's domination of Shane Mosley on May 7 brought in a gate of $8,882,600 from 15,422 tickets sold.
• No. 16: Pacquiao claimed a welterweight belt with an exciting fight against Miguel Cotto in 2009, a fight that generated $8,847,550 from 15,470 tickets sold.
• No. 17: Pacquiao's monster second-round knockout of junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton sold 15,368 tickets -- a huge amount attributed to Hatton's loyal British fans -- for a gate of $8,832,950. With Hatton making his retirement official earlier this month, it turned out to be his final fight.