Manny Pacquiao vs. Ryan Garcia will be exhibition bout
By Dan Ambrose: Ryan Garcia and Manny Pacquiao plan on taking part in an exhibition match, not a real fight, according to Steve Kim.
It makes sense for Ryan vs.Pacquiao to be an exhibition match, as the young Garcia would be entirely over-matched if he fought the Filipino star for real. Ryan could get hurt by Pacquiao.
We saw what happened when Amir Khan and Kell Brook went up two weight classes, daring to be great. They were both stopped, and their careers were never the same. Do we really need this to happen to Ryan Garcia too?
Fans are furious
The news of the Pacquiao-Garcia bout being an exhibition has been greeted with anger from boxing fans on social media, who are upset because they wanted it to be a real fight in which there would be a winner and a loser.
Instead, boxing fans will be asked to pay to see an exhibition match between former eight-division world champion Pacquiao and the unbeaten King Ryan. The idea behind exhibition matches is no one gets hurt, and no neither guy suffers a defeat.
This means that Pacquiao’s WBA welterweight title won’t be on the line, and Ryan won’t have to risk suffering his first career defeat. In looking at it from Ryan’s side, it’s logical that he would agree to an exhibition match with Pacquiao.
King Ryan doesn’t have to worry about hurting his hero Pacquiao, and equally important, there’s no chance of Ryan losing his unbeaten record. Moreover, Ryan will gain more fans because he’ll receive a lot of attention facing Pacquiao.
It’s still unknown what the pay-per-view price will be, the number of rounds, the date and the location of the bout. With Pacquiao vs. Ryan Garcia being an exhibition fight, it’ll be interesting to see how much they charge for the event. Will be $70 to $80 to see a non-fight or will it be priced a more pandemic-friendly $5 per household?
It’s hard to imagine boxing fans being willing to pay to see a sparring match between two still active fighters in Pacquiao and King Ryan, but they obviously will. These two fighters have fans that what to see them no matter what the situation is.
Rules of engagement still being decided
Ryan (21-0, 18 KOs) is 22-years-old, and coming off a big seventh-round knockout victory over the highly ranked Luke Campbell on January 2nd. For Pacquiao’s part, he’s the WBA welterweight champion, and he’s coming off one of the biggest wins of his career against Keith Thurman in July 2019.
“The rules of engagement have not been decided yet!!,” said Manny Pacquiao Promotions president Sean Gibbons on Twitter.
“OK, I’m told that in regards to Pacquiao-Ryan Garcia, nothing is finalized. The plan is for this bout to be an exhibition. Also, it would take place at THE ONE on Sunset Blvd…. #boxing,” said Steve Kim on social media.
Alright, if Pac-Garcia is going to be an exhibition, just scrap it. Let’s go back to ‘the Pac Man’ vs. Conor McGregor, sorry, but I need some legitimacy to these match-ups. Not a fan of Pacquiao-Garcia being an exhibition. But hey, at least the WBA belt wont be on the line, right?!?! #boxing
As one person on social media said in defense of the Pacquiao vs. Garcia fight being an exhibition, fans don’t have to buy the match if they don’t want to.
The fans are not being forced to open their wallets and pay whatever price on PPV that the Pacquiao – Garcia event is going for.
Pacquiao and Ryan will make their money
Criticizing the fight likely won’t stop the casuals and the ultra-hardcore boxing fans from purchasing it. The fighters will make their money. The knowledgeable fans will likely stay away from ordering the Pacquiao vs. Ryan fight, but the casuals will still buy it in droves.
That’s obviously what Pacquiao and Ryan are counting on. They’re selling a product, and there’s a huge market for what they’re selling with their large fan base.
Pacquiao and Ryan Garcia’s huge social media following will ensure that fans will want to purchase the fight. These are the casuals, and they’ll gladly order the exhibition just so they can see two guys that they admire.
Pacquiao has 2.6 million followers on Twitter and 6.1 million on Instagram. Ryan Garcia has 8.2 million followers on Instagram. Clearly, their match will do well on PPV, no matter what they price it at.
The downside is that many boxing fans that have never seen Ryan Garcia fight before won’t purchase the card because they won’t want to pay to see an exhibition.
Additionally, the buzz for the match-up that would have been there if it had been a real fight won’t be there now that people know that it’s an exhibition. If money is all that matters to Pacquiao and Ryan Garcia, they’ll do okay.
These type of exhibition matches have the potential of hurting the sport because it puts a price tag on something should be for free.
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