Pacquiao needs a Mayweather fight to maximize his declining PPV numbers
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao has failed to reach 1 million pay-per-view buys in his last three fights, and it’s quite possible that his fight last Saturday night against WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley also will fail to bring in 1 million buys. Yahoo Sports writer Kevin Iole estimates that the Pacquiao-Bradley 2 fight will bring in around 800,000 PPV buys, will make it his 4th fight in a row where the Filipino star has failed to reach 1 million buys.
In the past it was almost a given that Pacquiao would hit over 1 million buys, but something is changed. It could be that fans are turned off by the losses to Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, or they’re simply losing interest in watching Pacquiao because he’s not fighting Floyd Mayweather.
It seems that fans were most interested in watching Paquiao fight when they thought there was a possibility of him fighting Mayweather in the near future. Pacquiao’s PPV numbers for his fight with Miguel Cotto was high in 2009, just before negotiations with Mayweather were about to begin. But when the negotiations failed to bring about a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather, we saw Pacquiao’s PPV numbers drop to just 660,000 for his fight against Joshua Clottey in 2010.
For Pacquiao to bring his numbers back to where they were previously, he’s going to need to fight Mayweather next year, presumably after his contract with Top Rank expires.
To be sure, Pacquiao can have Arum try and make a fight with Mayweather before his contract expires this year, but Arum is going to need to be even tempered if he’s going to put that fight together. He can’t tackle negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight if he’s not calm, cool and collective.
I think Pacquiao could get the fight with Mayweather if he agreed to take a purse split of 80-20 or 70-30 in favor of Mayweather. That’s still a great deal of money and a lot more than what he’s getting in his fights now.
If Pacquiao can get the Mayweather fight, he can bring his PPV numbers back up for that fight, and there’s a good chance he’ll see high PPV totals in his next 2-3 fights regardless of whether he loses the fight or not to Mayweather. Pacquiao will pick up fans due to the visibility that he gets and all Arum would need to do is take advantage of this by matching Pacquiao up against good opposition, and not the same fighters all the time.