Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says that 48 million homes in China watched the mismatch between Arum’s fighter Manny Pacquiao and little known Chris Algieri last November in their fight from Macao, China. The fight was painfully one-sided from start to finish with Pacquiao beating the hapless Algieri like a drum.
It wasn’t one of the more interesting fights to watch if you’re a fan of competitive matches, but then again we knew it was going to be a mismatch going in so it wasn’t a surprise.
Despite the huge audience in China that watched the fight, Arum isn’t ready to monetize the huge audiences that are watching Pacquiao’s fights. Instead, Arum is going to let it marinate before he chooses to eventually look to start up pay-per-view from that country. It makes sense. First get the Chinese fans hooked on Pacquiao before requiring them to pay to see him.
“It was a huge success. Forty-eight million homes watched it,” Arum said via the Telegraph.co.uk. “That’s effectively over half the population of the UK. Boxing is becoming a major sport in China. I want to build the audience as much as possible before we even think about pay-per-view.”
If Arum is going to wait on building Pacquiao more before he chooses to make the fights pay-per-view in China, then this is something that he may not live long enough to see come into fruition. Besides that, Pacquiao is getting up there in age at 36. If the idea is to get the Chinese fans hooked on Pacquiao’s fights before Top Rank makes the fights pay-per-view then they could very well run out of time because Pacquiao isn’t getting any younger. It’s only a matter of time before he gets knocked out cold again once Top Rank stops matching him against light hitters like Tim Bradley and Algieri.
Arum says that the Chinese fans are mainly interested in seeing Chinese flyweight Zou Shiming. However, even with him, he’s getting up there in age at 33. He’s listed at 33, but Shiming looks at least five years older than that in my view, and I can’t see him sticking around too much longer either. Arum is going to monetize his fights in China, he should start thinking about doing it soon before Shiming and Pacquiao get much older.