Hershman doubts Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will happen soon
By Chris Williams: HBO Sports President Ken Hershman has his doubts that we’ll be seeing a mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao anytime soon in the near future. Hershman thinks that both fighters have too many other options for big fights, and there’s not enough motivation for them to get in the ring right now and battle it out.
That’s probably especially true with Mayweather, whose last fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez brought in 2.2 million pay-per-view buys and made over $80 million for the fight. With paydays like that, Mayweather doesn’t need Pacquiao right now.
Pacquiao’s recent fight on HBO PPV against Brandon Rios brought dreadful numbers in coming out to just 475,000 PPV buys. Supposedly the reason for the poor numbers was because the fight was staged in Macao, China. However, it’s very difficult to imagine a lot of fans wanting to pay to see Pacquiao and Rios fight, especially with the undercard that went with that fight. It was an undercard that was one of the poorest I’ve seen before.
Look at the three fights leading up to the Pacquiao-Rios fight on the undercard: Evgeny Gradovich vs. Billy Dib, Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Tor Hamer and Felix Verdejo vs. Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan. This was a card that was just begging to do poor numbers in PPV. Someone should have stepped and talked some sense into the promoter to let him know that you can’t have a terrible main event between Pacquiao and Rios plus an even worse undercard and expect fans to gladly pay to see the fights.
When asked by USA Today if a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao were possible, Hershman said “It is possible? I never rule out anything in boxing. I don’t know that they’re on a trajectory to fight each other in a way that makes sense for either side. Both sides have their options to make good fights and do strong, solid pay-per-view numbers. I don’t see (Mayweather-Pacquiao) happening anytime soon.”
I don’t know that a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight can happen if Pacquiao doesn’t start putting up the solid PPV numbers that Hershman is talking about. He can’t expect to get a fight against Mayweather with him doing poor PPV numbers like in his last fight. Additionally, Pacquiao has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights, and didn’t stop his losing streak until his promoter Bob Arum matched him up against a down in his luck former lightweight in Rios. Let’s be real about this; Rios lost his last fight before the Pacquiao fight, and really you can say that Rios was also soundly beaten by Richard Abril last year. That was the fight that Rios was given a controversial victory in a fight where he appeared to lost 10 of the 12 rounds against Abril. Pacquiao needs to prove that he can beat an actual welterweight, and not someone that was pooled up the lightweight division to make him look good.