Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is the fight of the century. It's one of the most anticipated matchups in the history of boxing. And you shouldn't pay $100 to watch it, for a lot of reasons.
Read next: Read our Mayweather vs. Pacquiao recap.
Everything about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is a record of some sort, price-wise. Ticket prices are at a record high -- the opening price for the cheapest seats was $1,500, although this was before resale prices skyrocketed -- and quickly sold out. Closed circuit TV viewing sessions are priced at a record high -- $150 a seat -- and quickly sold out. And of course, pay-per-view prices are at a record high -- $99.99, breaking the previous record of $74.95.
All of these ridiculous prices exist so that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao can earn the largest payouts in the history of sports. Early reports were that Mayweather would take $120 million and Pacquiao $80 million, already dwarfing the record $52 million Mayweather made for his 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya, but recent estimates project Mayweather to get $180 million and Pacquiao $100 million.
Normally, there is some sort of buffer between our money and the athletes we pay to watch. When we watch most sports, we're not actively paying to do so, but our viewership convinces advertising people to spend more money on ads during games. When we go to sporting events, our money typically goes to a team owner, who can then decide to pay some of that money to athletes.
This is not the case with a boxing pay-per-view. Floyd Mayweather has literally nicknamed himself "Money" because of how much money he has, and his No. 1 hobby is bragging about his money. He is contractually tied into a slice of every pay-per-view buy. Every dollar spent to watch Mayweather fight Pacquiao has a portion guaranteed to go to Pacquiao and a larger portion guaranteed to go to Mayweather.
Mayweather is a horrible human being. He is a serial abuser of women. This is very well documented. He has been involved in seven instances leading to citation or arrest, and has either been convicted or pleaded guilty to charges of violence against four women. Mayweather is perhaps the best human being in the world at punching humans, and he has repeatedly used this skill to cause physical pain to his supposed loved ones. He is a genuine monster.
(As Deadspin also points out, Manny Pacquiao is not a great guy either, but he's certainly less of a bad guy and he's getting less of a cut.)
In the past year, the NFL experienced a backlash when it failed to properly deal with players who committed acts of domestic violence. Their initial failure to suspend Ray Rice for a significant amount of time led to a PR fiasco, and the league has since been very clear to correct its course of action by handing out large suspensions to Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson.
Is the NFL good people? Probably not. But they realized the potential financial backlash of appearing lax about domestic violence. So in their capacity as an organization that filters some money to football players and keeps some for itself, they have gone out of their way to make it clear that they will stop the filter of money to football players who are bad people, at least temporarily.
Meanwhile, nobody is stopping Mayweather. Even the smallest estimates for his take from the fight, $120 million, have him earning four times as much than the highest-paid athlete in America's four major sports, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's $30 million a year deal. The bulk of this money will come from domestic pay-per-view buys.
He is completely remorseless -- he publicly denies guilt, even in spite of courts finding him guilty and him pleading guilty -- he is banking on you paying a larger amount of money than anybody has ever paid for a pay-per-view fight to ensure he makes more money than any athlete ever.
You have a choice.
You can ignore Mayweather-Pacquiao. You're a sports fan, and this is easily the fight of the century, one of the most anticipated boxing matches in the history of the sport. The Super Bowl happens every year. We've been waiting for this fight for over half a decade. Ignoring Mayweather vs. Pacquiao will suck.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
You can find ways around paying Mayweather while still managing to watch the fight of the century. It's 2015! There are ways of watching this fight online without paying anybody! They are illegal as hell, because it is literally stealing. Big ups, Internet Robin Hood! Just a heads up: That stream's gonna cut out 150 times during the fight. Your Saturday night is gonna be spent hitting refresh, closing pop-ups and searching for new feeds as you try to stay a step ahead of whoever's job it is to crack down. Oh, and have your Kazakh-to-English dictionary ready -- the announcers on that illegal feed aren't gonna slow down for you. (We do not know where to find these, so don't even ask.)
You can find a bar showing the fight, or you can go to a watch party. A bar will have a cover charge and you'll probably have to split the cost of the fight at a friend's house, but even with food and drinks, you probably won't have to hit $100. Success! A smaller amount of your cash went to the horrible guy, and you now have a bunch of friends who helped make the world a worse place with you.
None of these are good options. Mayweather will not learn his lesson. Win or lose, he will wake up Sunday over $100 million richer in spite of his disgusting past. He will compare a Bugatti and a Lamborghini, and decide to buy both because he feels like it. That's his happy place. He'll get there, and whether or not you pay for the fight won't change the tiniest facet of the tiniest diamond on the second hand of his worst watch.
You not buying the pay-per-view isn't about whether or not Floyd Mayweather gets rich. He will anyway. It's about what you want to do with your money.
ESPN's Sarah Spain suggested donating $50 to a charity that helps victims of domestic abuse and spending $50 on treating yourself, and we really love that idea. But if you must pay for the fight, maybe consider matching your PPV spendings with a donation someplace?
I can assure you your $100 will make a much bigger difference to any charity than it will to Floyd Mayweather, a woman-beater who buys extremely expensive things instead of regular expensive things simply because they are more expensive.
(Update: USA Today actually asked domestic abuse shelters what they can do with $100. It goes a long way. If you're watching the fight, or even if you're not, please donate.)
Fight of the Century: Mayweather-Pacquiao staredown