Pacquiao-Rios does around 500K buys, says Arum
By Chris Williams: It looks like Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KO’s) did worse than many people expected to on HBO pay-per-view. The fight, which Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum placed at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao, S.A.R., China, reportedly did between “490,000 to 510,000, according to ESPN. This is way lower than what was expected. That’s even lower than the 660,000 buys that Pacquiao’s fight against former Top Rank stable fighter Joshua Clottey brought in back in 2010.
Arum said to ESPN “It was be somewhere in the area of 500,000, and that’s what we’re going to wind up doing. It means 490,000 or 510,000, something like that…I think it was a success. We performed better than I thought.”
According to Rafael, there are people in the industry saying it didn’t even hit 400,000 PPV buys. It’s interesting how Arum is trying to put a positive spin on what is clearly a tremendous drop off in PPV buys for Pacquiao. His fights have been hitting over 1 million buys, and here he is hitting 400,000 and Arum is saying it’s a success? I don’t know who’s brilliant idea it was to stage the fight in Macao, but if I was Pacquiao I wouldn’t want any part of having another fight outside of the U.S. if that’s going to be the buy rate.
The drop off in PPV buys might not just be because of the fight being staged outside of the U.S. It also could be tied into the opponent that Pacquiao fought. By picking Brandon Rios as Pacquiao’s opponent instead of a popular fighter, it likely hurt the PPV buys in a big way. If Pacquiao is just going to be fighting Arum’s stable fighters – Tim Bradley and Brandon Rios – he’s probably not going to be bringing in a lot of PPV buys. Pacquiao probably needs to be able to fight the other welterweights from other promotional companies like Golden Boy to in order to keep his PPV buys up at 1 million.
Another reason for a big drop off in Pacquiao’s buys could be that he’s lost his last two fights, and isn’t seen at the invincible fighter he once was. Getting blasted out by Juan Manuel Marquez can’t be good for a fighter’s popularity. As a fan, I wouldn’t see a fighter as a PPV fighter anymore if I knew that he was knocked out in his last fight and beaten by decision in his fight before that by a welterweight who was fought to a standstill by Ruslan Provodnikov.
The news earlier today that Arum wants Pacquiao’s next fight in Las Vegas, Nevada rather than in Macao, China, had me wondering whether Arum had seen the PPV numbers and they weren’t very good. But now with Arum giving a ballpark number for what the numbers are, it seems pretty obvious now why Arum is bringing Pacquiao back to the States.
Arums says he’s going to Zou Shiming on Pacquiao’s undercard for his next fight in the U.S, and then televise the card in China. I’m wondering if Shiming will be the co-feature. Arum is going to have to start working on beefing up the undercard for Pacquiao’s fights, because the last undercard was woefully inadequate in terms of interesting fights. You had the mismatch between Pacquiao and Rios in the main event, and then co-feature was the boring fight between Evgeny Gradovich and Billy Dib. That was a mismatch and end it boring. Then there was the heavyweight match-up between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Tor Hamer where Hamer quit after the 3rd round. Then there was the sick mismatch between Zou Shiming and a raw fighter named Juan Tozcano. Shiming looked terrible, but the guy that they picked for him to fight was far, far worse. Arum needs to be putting quality undercards together if he wants to help strengthen PPV sales. You can’t have every fight on the card a mismatch and still expect strong PPV sales.