Staying true to the long storied tradition of promoters making very optimistic predictions when it comes to the amount of pay per views that their events will sell, Bob Arum earlier this week made a bold prediction regarding the November junior middleweight showdown between Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito.
Speaking to the Manila Bulletin, Arum stated that he is expecting pay per view sales of well over 1.3 million, which is the amount that Pacquiao sold against Oscar De La Hoya.
Obviously Arum’s predictions before an event are always going to be very high, and few industry insiders initially had the bout selling much over a million. Mainly because the main event isn’t expected to be a close one and that Margarito’s reputation with some of the fans is still in question.
Since the bout was announced though, Margarito has seemingly gained back a lot of the support that he lost due to his suspension, and helped by the big size difference many are now predicting a close fight that could go either way.
However the odds on anything except a knockout win for Pacquiao are growing longer, meaning that despite glowing reports from Margarito’s camp and mixed ones from Pacquiao’s, the big money is still being laid down on the Filipino. This in turn could mean either that the public won’t be as interested, because they see the fight as having only one winner, or that a lot of people are putting money down and won’t want to miss it.
Conversely the undercard of the event is packing a lot more drawing power than any of Pacquiao’s recent fights, featuring the likes of Mike Jones, Kelly Pavlik and Guillermo Rigondeux, as well as several of Pacquiao’s countrymen. Actually putting on an undercard worth watching is a big step in the right direction that both Golden Boy and Top Rank have recently taken, and it can only increase the pay per view sales in this case.
Pacquiao’s March fight against little known Joshua Clottey sold possibly a lot better than expected at 700k, given that the odds were very long and that Clottey has a fairly small fan base. Part of that success though might have been from the novelty of staging a fight at the Cowboys stadium rather than the fight itself.
Against Miguel Cotto, Pacquiao achieved sales of 1.2 million, and the odds for the fight were much closer. Comparatively Margarito has a bigger fan base than Clottey, and is a more interesting character than Cotto, who despite his skill in the ring often comes across as rather flat in hyping up his fights.
Those being the current circumstances, it’s difficult to say for sure just how well the fight will sell, but there is a growing feeling that the jump from welterweight to junior middleweight might be a lot more difficult for Pacquiao than the climb to welterweight was.
If that idea continues to spread, then the sales could well beat those that he achieved with De La Hoya, and if that happens, undoubtedly Pacquiao and Arum will both have an eye on beating the 1.4 million buys Golden Boy achieved with Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley.
Rob Grant, Denver: “Arum is talking straight crap as usual, the fight will be lucky to do more than a million. Margarito is nearly shot and most of the U.S fans don’t like him cos he cheated”
Douggie Taylor, Pitt: “I can see it doing more than the Cotto fight, maybe not as much as Floyd and Shane though”