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Arum under intense pressure to top Mayweather – Ortiz PPV numbers

Floyd Mayweather Jr Juan Manuel Marquez Manny Pacquiao Victor OrtizBy John F. McKenna (McJack): Top Rank CEO Bob Arum will be under intense pressure to top the Pay Per View (PPV) numbers that WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather and then champion Victor Ortiz drew for their September 17 fight at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

It was announced yesterday by Golden Boy Promotions after a lengthy delay that the fight sold 1.25 million PPV’s. Many were surprised that the PPV’s for the fight were that high, given the length of time it took for the numbers to be released.

There had been speculation that the PPV numbers were in the 850,000 range, but that was all swept away when Golden Boy made the announcement. The live gate for Mayweather – Ortiz was 9 million dollars, which is a relatively low number. The live gate numbers further fueled speculation that PPV numbers were not going to be what had been hoped for due to the fact that normally PPV numbers are reflective of what the live gate draws.

It was surmised by some that the reason PPV numbers for Mayweather – Ortiz were not released was because they were embarrassingly low. The reasoning also was that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Floyd Mayweather would have been trumpeting the numbers if they had come in close to where they had been expected to.

The 1.25 million PPV buys translates into 78.44 million dollars in domestic revenue, which is the 2nd highest in non heavyweight history. Although the Pacquiao – Mosley fight drew roughly the same amount of PPV buys, the Mayweather – Ortiz fight was sold at a higher subscription rate resulting in higher revenue.

Of course what the release of the Mayweather – Ortiz PPV numbers means is that Bob Arum will be under intense pressure to top not only the 1.25 million PPV buys of Mayweather – Ortiz, but the total revenue as well.

The cagey Arum has predicted that the Pacquiao – Marquez Trilogy will surpass 1.4 million buys. He will pull out all the stops to ensure that happens. Complicating matters for Arum has been the recent spate of lousy fights aired on HBO. Arum and HBO will be reminding boxing fans until November 12, the day of the fight, how great the previous two fights between Pacquiao and Marquez were.

There is no doubt that Arum is hoping that Pacquiao wins in a convincing fashion, although he would probably hope that the fight lasts for a least a few rounds. It is reminiscent of the predicament heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey’s promoter Tex Rickard was in prior to Dempsey’s fight with Luis Angel Firpo in 1923. Rickard asked Jack to let the fight go a few rounds so that the huge crowd in attendance would get their money’s worth. Jack characteristically told the famed promoter “Go to hell!”

The Dempsey – Firpo fight lasted just two rounds, but it was probably the best two rounds in boxing history. Rickard did no complaining after the fight.

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