MANILA, Philippines – “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao may now add the title “pay-per-view (PPV) champ” on his name after matching the record set by former heavyweight superstar Mike Tyson for most PPV buys in 3 consecutive years.
Based on initial figures released by HBO Sports, Pacquiao’s fight against Antonio Margarito on November 13 registered at least 1.15 million PPV buys and $64 million domestic PPV revenue.
"This is the third consecutive year that a Manny Pacquiao megafight has exceeded 1 million buys and he has generated 5.1 million buys over his last five fights -- true measures of his PPV superstar status," HBO senior vice president Mark Taffet said in a report by ESPN.com.
The total number is still expected to rise once all buys are fully accounted for. The Pacquiao-Margarito fight had been projected to generate up to 1.4 million buys.
According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Pacquiao matched Tyson’s record as being the only fighter in PPV history to breach the 1 million mark for a fight in 3 straight years.
Pacquiao's 8th-round stoppage of boxing superstar Oscar dela Hoya in 2008 generated 1.25 million PPV buys, while his 12th-round victory over Miguel Cotto in 2009 sold 1.2 million.
His lopsided decision over Margarito on November 13 is his third fight which broke the 1 million PPV mark.
|Mike Tyson during his prime (Photo grabbed from YouTube.com)
Rafael noted that Tyson also generated huge PPV numbers for fights from 1995 to 1997. Those fights took place after the former heavyweight champion was released from prison.
Aside from setting a PPV record in the Margarito match, Pacquiao also brought home his 8th world title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight crown.
"I think the fight with Margarito did very, very well and we are constantly trying to figure out how to better our performances," Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said.
"Considering where we were when we announced the fight, nobody would have believed we would have done this. They said Margarito was disgraced and people talked about boycotting it," he added.
Arum was referring to Margarito’s hand-wrap controversy. In January 2009, the Tijuana Tornado was caught wearing tampered hand wraps before his fight against Shane Mosley.
As a result, Margarito was barred from boxing in the US for more than a year.