Next month's "Clash in Cotai" will carry the largest-ever purse for a boxing event in Asia, surpassing the Mike Tyson v James "Buster" Douglas heavyweight title fight in Tokyo in 1990.
Douglas defeated Tyson on February 10, 1990, at the Tokyo Dome in one of boxing's biggest upsets in fight history when the then 42-1 underdog knocked out Tyson. "Iron Mike" banked US$6 million for the fight, while Douglas made US$1.3 million.
Bob Arum, CEO and founder of promoters Top Rank, said the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios bout, for the vacant WBO welterweight title, on November 24 would surpass those numbers from 1990 in terms of purse, television viewership and interest.
"It will be by far the biggest purse in Asia," Arum said. "I expect Manny to make approximately US$20 million and Rios US$4 million. There's no question it will be the biggest boxing fight in Asia ever."
The Pacquiao-Rios fight will be held at the Venetian Cotai Arena.
Edward Tracy, chief executive of co-promoters Sands China, said the Pacquiao-Rios fight had generated keen interest. The state-run CCTV will broadcast the event to about 300 million viewers across China.
"From a sporting viewpoint, this event will probably be the biggest event since the Beijing Olympics [in 2008]," Tracy claimed. "We are expecting [a capacity crowd] of around 12,000 spectators."
China's two-time Olympic gold medallist, Zou Shiming, will fight on the undercard against Mexico's Juan "Pollo" Toscano, while Hong Kong's unbeaten "wonderkid" 26-year-old Rex Tso Sing-yu, will fight 22-year-old Thai Susu Sithjadaeng (7-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round super flyweight matchup.