Pacquiao Watch: Why the PPV buys are down

Edwin G. Espejo

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Pacquiao Watch: Why the PPV buys are down


As Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather's careers wind down, their pay-per-view events are breaching the million buy mark far less frequently

Top Rank’s Bob Arum said the Pacquiao-Bradley 2 fight made just between 750,000-800,0000 pay per view (PPV) buys.

That figure is down from the 850,000 buys that their first fight generated. Still, it is a marked improvement from the Pacquiao-Rios Macau fight, which sold only 450,000 PPVs.

The last time Manny Pacquiao hit over 1 million PPV was in December 2012, when he was knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth battle. The shocker was coming off the first Bradley debacle which many believed was a travesty of a decision. Pacquiao also lost that one by majority decision in a fight in which he clearly dominated majority of the rounds.  

It took Pacquiao almost a year before again doing a fight after his Marquez KO loss. And his box office appeal undoubtedly also took a hit following the 2012 losses.

Ranged against the equally ‘dismal’ 850,000 PPV buys of Floyd Mayweather’s hard earned victory over Marcos Maidana some two weeks later, one wonders when we will see a fight that will again generate over a million PPVs and whet the appetite of boxing fans.

Over the last 5 years, only Pacquiao and Mayweather have breached the one million PPV mark, made more interesting by public demand that the two fight each other. 

There have been hits and misses in the negotiations that would have brought the two top fighters of their generation together inside the ring. It would have been great for the legacies of the two fighters. It would have been good for the business. And more importantly, it would have been best for the sport that has not seen such rivalry since the days of Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns-Roberto Duran-Marvin Hagler enmities.

Pacquiao and Mayweather, without argument, are a cut above the rest not only in their division but in the whole of boxing today.

But as time goes by, boxing fans may have grown weary over their failure to heed clamor to face each other in the ring. The two may be already past their prime and already on the decline. But they will still make a good pair and an explosive fight.

This may explain why their PPV numbers against other opponents are down because of their refusal to make the fight. Down but not yet out.

In the case of Pacquiao, the second Bradley fight may be disappointing in terms of PPV sales. But Arum says they sure made money, the PPV numbers notwithstanding.

It is easy to explain why the Pacquiao-Bradley 2 did not generate as much interest as their first.

While the second fight marked the return of Pacquiao to Las Vegas after more than a year of absence, there is no compelling drama in that anticipated match given that many believed Pacquiao will get his rightful revenge no matter what.

While Bradley went on to win two exciting bouts after being rewarded the decision in their first fight, he really was not in the league of Pacquiao. And nobody really seriously believed he won the first time around.

It is like seeing a penciled Pacquiao win. And win Pacquiao did as expected. So why bother pay to see a predictable outcome?  

But is there a silver lining to the declining interest in the fights of Pacquiao and Mayweather given their stubborn refusal to fight each other?  

There is. 

They may see the light of day. Both are agreed that their boxing years ahead are coming to an end. And if they continue to register fewer PPVs taking risks and fighting other opponents, they may be compelled to finally agree to fight each other. Not only for the sake of the sports.  Not only for their own legacies. But to also make sure they have plenty to spare as they walk into the sunset. –

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