By James Slater – It has been announced how Nov. 13th’s WBC light-middleweight title fight between superstar Manny Pacquiao and the controversy-plagued Antonio Margarito generated a more than healthy 1.15 million pay-per-view buys. That means that $64 million was spent by fans hungry to see the pound-for-pound king go for his history-making 8th “world” title.
Reports reveal how Pacquiao’s ability to sell a fight has matched that of former heavyweight king Mike Tyson. Pac-Man joins “Iron Mike” as the only other fighter to have generated at least a million buys for fights in three consecutive years..
Naturally, HBO senior vice president Mark Taffet is delighted at this news.
“We’re thrilled with the pay-per-view performance,” he said. “This is the third consecutive year that a Manny Pacquiao fight has exceeded one million buys and he has generated 5.1 million buys over his last five fights – true measures of his PPV superstar status.”
And it’s undeniable how Pac-Man is THE number-one boxing star at the moment. But, as big as Pac-Man’s PPV numbers have been for fights against Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Margarito – how massive would the numbers be if the Filipino icon fought either Floyd Mayweather Junior or Sergio Gabriel Martinez? Think about it: either fight could conceivably smash all existing PPV records – a Pacquiao-Mayweather clash especially!
But will either fight happen? Mayweather – who is back in the news today due to yet more alleged criminal behaviour – has to get himself sorted out before he can look towards his next fight, and though Pacquiao says he wants the fight, it is no closer to being made than it ever has been. As for a possible fight with middleweight champ Martinez, Pac-Man has said he will take the fight; but only at a weight he can fight at effectively. Manny reportedly mentioned the 150-pound mark, and it remains to be seen if Martinez will agree to this or a slightly higher weight (if Pac-Man can be persuaded to box a few pounds above 150).
But either fight, if it happens, at whatever weight, will be pure box office gold – as well as being a match-up that will appeal to more than just regular boxing fans. Could a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight be expected to sell to as many as 2 million pay-per-view customers? You couldn’t rule it out. Which makes it all the more perplexing that “Money” Mayweather cannot stay well behaved and get on with it and sign for the damned fight! With so much money just waiting to be picked up, what is Floyd doing with his career?
A Pac-Man-Martinez fight, though it wouldn’t be as big as Manny against Floyd, wouldn’t be that far behind in PPV numbers, either. I’d be willing to bet, that at the least, this fight, if it’s made, will guarantee Pacquiao another million-plus seller.
And to think, with all these millions of dollars earned, Pac-Man remains a humble, pretty much regular guy. His down to earth qualities are one of the reasons he is such a phenomenally popular fighter. Won’t it be a sad day when Manny retires from the sport he has ruled over for such a long time?