Boxing promoter Bob Arum admitted that Manny Pacquiao will be fighting for more than just the WBO welterweight title when the Filipino faces Timothy Bradley this weekend.
In Steve Kim’s report to Sports on Earth, Arum said Pacquiao's reputation as a pay-per-view (PPV) star also hangs in the balance.
"That's completely accurate," Arum confirmed.
Since forcing Oscar dela Hoya to retire on his stool in 2008, Pacquiao has become a hit in terms of PPV numbers.
Against Dela Hoya, Pacquiao had 1.25 million PPV buys. This was followed by strong PPV numbers for his fights against Ricky Hatton (850,000), Miguel Cotto (1.25 million), Joshua Clottey (700,000), Antonio Margarito (1.15 million), Shane Mosley (1.3 million) and the third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez (1.4 million).
Pacquiao’s PPV numbers dropped to 700,000 when he fought and lost to a relatively unknown Bradley in June 2012.
It surged back up again to 1.15 million when he engaged Marquez to a thrilling battle six months later. Unfortunately in that fight, Pacquiao suffered his first stoppage loss since 2005.
In his comeback fight against Brandon Rios in Macau a year later, his PPV buys dwindled to 500,000, which Arum attributed to the fact that the bout was staged outside the US.
"The satellite people, the cable people, told us that we would lose up to 60 percent of the audience by moving it outside the United States, and we did close to 500,000 buys. It was disappointing, but you know, most of that I attribute to the fact that we had three writers over there and we didn't have ESPN there," he explained.
Now that Pacquiao will be fighting again in Las Vegas, Arum said there’s a big chance that Filipino boxer will be gaining back his market value.
Bradley’s improvements since their first fight could add to the figure, too.
"So I think now, we have a real good shot to do old-time numbers, like a million-one, million-two," said Arum.