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Weak Pay Per View sales worked against Bradley

By John F. McKenna (McJack): World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (29-0-1, 12 KO’s) was jubilant when he found out last spring that he would finally realize his dream of fighting eight division champion Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO’s). Bradley then realized his worst nightmare. “Desert Storm” won what many describe as the worst decision in boxing in modern times along with Manny’s WBO title belt.

Bradley at first allegedly conceded to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum that he had done his best, but could not handle Pacquiao. After the decision was announced Bradley changed his tune and began saying that he thought he had won the fight. And to be fair to Bradley he is not the one responsible for the horrendous decision.

As it turned out the Pacquiao – Bradley fight was a huge disappointment with regard to Pay Per View (PPV) sales, which were in the 700,000 to 850,000 range depending on whose numbers you believe. In any case the PPV sales were a few hundred thousand short of the 1.3 million PPV sales Pacquiao and Marquez drew last November.

Do thre math, at between $60 and $70 a pop times the 500,000 less PPV sales the Pacquiao – Bradley fight pulled in last June and you are looking at a pretty significant piece of change. The shortfall in PPV sales was too high a mountain for Bradley to climb. Both Arum and Pacquiao were unwilling to run the risk of the low PPV sales another Bradley fight was likely to bring.

For “Desert Storm” the nightmare that keeps playing over and over for him is that nobody save for a few Pacquiao haters, really think he won the fight. Most boxing pundits gave Bradley two to three rounds tops in the Pacquiao fight.

The 2nd part of the Bradley nightmare is that as WBO welterweight champion, and after technically beating “Pacman”, no one wants to fight him because of his anemic drawing power. Arum had thought that because of his wizardry in promoting fights and by putting Pacquiao on the ticket the PPV sales would not be that bad. Even Uncle Bob was shocked when the low PPV numbers came out.

So Bradley is in the unenviable position of having to disparage Pacquiao for not wanting to fight him again. Bradley’s efforts to cajole Manny into a rematch reached a new level of absurdity when he accused Pacquiao of being scared to fight him in a rematch. Of course not even Bradley’s staunchest supporter believed that.

It will be interesting to see how the Bradley saga plays out over the next few months. Presently there does not appear to be any high profile fighters lining up to fight him.

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