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Pacquiao-Margarito brings in 1.15 million PPV buys and possibly more

By Dan Ambrose: The November 13th clash between Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO’s) and Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO’s) at the Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, reportedly brought in at least 1.15 million pay per view buys, according to boxing news from Dan Rafael of ESPN.

The fight could end up bringing in more than 1.15 buys, but these are the initial numbers from HBO for the mini mega fight.

Needless to say, these are very good numbers indeed because Pacquiao did it pretty much on his own with a little help from HBO’s 24/7 Pacquiao/Margarito series and with Margarito’s Mexican fan base tuning in. Margarito has never had much of a fan base, but it could be that he was able to draw a number of Mexican fans to help make this fight more successful that Pacquiao’s recent fight against Joshua Clottey, which drew less PPV buys at 700,000. In contrast, Pacquiao’s bout against Oscar De La Hoya did 1.25 million buys.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who promotes both Margarito and Pacquiao, had this to say in an ESPN interview: “Considering where we were when we announced the fight, nobody would have believed we would have done this. They said Margarito was disgraced and people talked about boycotting it.” Arum seemed to be gloating about the success of the fight. However, when you have a fighter like Pacquiao, you can pretty much match him up against anyone, as was the case against Clottey, and the fight will still do well. The real test of how popular Margarito is will be when Arum puts him in with an obscure opponent.

Arum would like to match Margarito against Miguel Cotto in a rematch of their 2008 fight. That bout will likely do well, but Margarito is going to need a lot of time to heal up from the beating he took against Pacquiao. Margarito sustained a fractured right orbital bone and he took a lot of head shots in the fight. He might not be the same fighter, but then again, Cotto doesn’t look like the same fighter since being beaten by Margarito in 2008. It will be a good fight between fading sluggers.

As for Pacquiao, Arum is really hoping that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will show an interest in fighting him in 2011. Arum says “It’s one thing to do big numbers fighting Oscar De La Hoya, who always did big numbers. It’s another doing them on his own, which he is now apparently able to do. One of the ways to put it into the stratosphere is to make the Mayweather fight, but that is out of my control. I hope that is the next fight.”

It’s a wonder that Pacquiao has been able to bring in good numbers against Clottey and Margarito, because Arum could have selected more popular opponents than them – and likely would have made more money – but chose them for some reason. Many people think Arum selected Arum and Clottey simply because they’re part of his Top Rank stable, and not because he thought they were the fights that would make the most money. Pacquiao would have likely did better had he fought Shane Mosley rather than Clottey or Margarito.

The Mayweather fight is going to be a problem to put together because he’s going to want Pacquiao to agree to random blood tests for performance enhancing drugs, and that’s where the two fighters were unable to agree upon last time they attempted to negotiate this year. Also, the purse split will could be a problem as well as the weight. If Pacquiao’s team attempts to make this another catch weight in order to get a handicap for Pacquiao, it will make it difficult to make this fight.

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