Mayweather vs Pacquiao Purse Split : Who’s More “Popular”?

by Eric Pena on January 22, 2012

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The much awaited boxing match between the two best pound for pound welterweight champions has suffered another snag after Floyd Mayweather personally called Manny Pacquiao to discuss the potential mega-fight. Both fighters have expressed their desire to finally meet in the ring and settle once and for all who’s the best but can’t agree on the purse split of what could be the richest boxing match in history. Manny wants a 50-50 split while Floyd wants a bigger slice.

Popularity brings cash

While both can dispute who’s the best fighter, who is the more popular (or even most notorious) going into the match determines who would bring in the most cash, hence, justifying a bigger share of the revenue pie. A recent example is Oscar De La Hoya, who wasn’t the best fighter when he fought the undefeated and top pound for pound boxer in Mayweather, having lost his most significant matches, but was considered the most popular and was boxing’s cash cow at the time. Hence, Oscar had the bigger slice of the pie when they fought in a match that still holds the record for the most PPV buys, live gate and total revenues.

Going back to the Mayweather-Pacquiao purse split issue, unless there is a scientific survey to determine who between Pacquiao and Mayweather is the more popular (in the US or globally), discussions of purse split will only be a roadblock to making the superfight happen. However, without a survey, there are still ways in getting a gauge on the popularity of both fighters using tools to measure online discussions on social media sites and popular search engines.


We will measure popularity within the last 90 days and for the last 365 days as a comparison. The last 90 days will be more apt where levels of popularity or notoriety depend on the recent activities of the fighters going towards fight night in May 2012.

  1. We will use the most popular search engine: Google, to measure who people are searching for (shows level of interest on a fighter). Google has a free tool called Google Insights for Search that provides insights into the search terms people have been entering into the Google search engine on certain periods.
  2. We will use one of the most popular enterprise social media monitoring tool called Radian6 to measure the volume of conversations that mentions “Pacquiao” or “Mayweather” within a period of 90 days.

Note: To make it simple, we will no longer filter out other well-known Mayweather’s (e.g. Floyd Sr., Roger) that can be captured by the tool as these could be insignificant relative to the total volume of Floyd Jr. conversations. Of course there’s only one popular Pacquiao.

Let’s do the online popularity measurement.

Phase 1. Google Insights for Search

Insights for Search examines a percentage of all searches for “pacquiao” and “mayweather” within the same time and location parameters. The results are then shown on a graph, plotted on a scale from 0 to 100.

The numbers on the graph reflect the number of searches that have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalised and presented on a scale from 0-100; each point on the graph is divided by the highest point or 100. The bars under Totals represent the averages for each line on the graph.

Search Interest Worldwide for the Last 90 Days 

Here’s the result of people from all over the world who searched for either “pacquiao” or “mayweather” for the last 90 days:

Pacquiao-Mayweather 90 days worldwide

Search interest for "Pacquiao" and "Mayweather" worldwide for the last 90 days

The spike in search interest under “E” is during the Pacquiao-Marquez 3 fight last November 13, 2011. On the search average, Pacquiao has the edge here 3 to 1.

For comparison purposes, here’s what the search for the last 365 days look like.

Search interest for "Pacquiao" and "Mayweather" worldwide for the last 365 days

The chart above shows that for the past 365 days, Pacquiao was on average searched more than Mayweather, 7 to 5.

Regional Comparison for the Same Search Terms (worldwide, 90 days)

Here, you can see the regions or countries where both fighters are most searched. It also shows per region the search averages per fighter.


Regional comparison for Pacquiao, 90 days, worldwide

The above diagram shows that outside of his home country the Philippines, Pacquiao is most searched in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Panama, etc. It also shows “pacquiao” was searched more times on the average in all regions compared to “mayweather” including in the United States.


Regional search for Mayweather, 90 days, worldwide

Mayweather was most searched in Puerto Rico, Philippines, US, Ireland, etc. However, “pacquiao” was searched more than “mayweather” in all regions.

:Since this is a free tool, you can try it out using different parameters such as location (e.g. US) and period (e.g. one year, two years, etc.). Let us know the results.

Phase 2. Share of Conversation

Using Radian6, we measure the number of mentions “pacquiao” and “mayweather” have for the last 90 days (Oct 22, 2011 to Jan 22, 2012), from social media and online sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums, News, video and photo sharing sites, etc.).

Share of Voice for Pacquiao and Mayweather in the last 90 days

The above pie chart shows “Pacquiao” is mentioned more in online sites than “Mayweather” for the past 90 days, 55.8% to 44.2% respectively.

This chart displays the specific dates where most of the mentions of Pacquiao and Mayweather occur

The chart above shows the most number of conversations about Pacquiao occurred on November 13, 2011, which was his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. Of course, one can say this isn’t fair considering Mayweather has no fight during the same period. But that’s what increases one’s popularity by having more fights, more promotions, more media interviews, more endorsements, etc. On the other hand, there’s a conversation spike on December 22, 2011 when Floyd Mayweather was sentenced to jail for 90 days.

Who’s more popular?

Based on the tools and metrics we used to measure the “popularity” of both Pacquiao and Mayweather, it’s clear Manny is more “popular” in terms of online searches and online mentions for the past 90 days. Try using Google Insights for Search using the United States as location and varying the duration of the search period and you’ll get almost the same results.

In conclusion, Manny Pacquiao’s demand for a 50-50 purse split is more than justified.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jr January 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I still believe Pacquiao will win the fight :) Go pacman!

2 Joyce at I TAKE OFF THE MASK February 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I just wonder when this match will ever really take place.

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