A PPV ‘home run’ for Manny PacquiaoBy Francis T.J. Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer HOLLYWOOD—It wasn’t much of a smashing victory but, financially, Manny Pacquiao may have just hit one out of the ballpark.
His bout against Juan Manuel Marquez, which failed to decisively conclude their rivalry after a debate-spiked majority decision, is on track to break his record as far as pay-per-view (PPV) buys is concerned, Top Rank chief Bob Arum said Monday.
“We’re looking at a home run,” said Arum.
That should be a boost for Pacquiao, who faced questions after he was awarded victory in his defense of his WBO welterweight belt against Marquez.
It validates, at the very least, Pacquiao’s drawing power in the sport.
Pacquiao’s previous PPV high was 1.3 million subscriptions when he fought Shane Mosley last May.
“We’re looking way, way higher than 1.3 [million],” said Arum.
Arum and Pacquiao faced scrutiny after several journalists—and the crowd at MGM Grand—lashed out at the decision, saying that Marquez did enough to win the fight.
Judge Glenn Townbridge saw it 116-112 for Pacquiao. Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for the fighting congressman from the Sarangani province while Robert Hoyle had it even, 114-114.
“The decision was fair,” said Arum. “Look at the replay and you’ll see it’s fair. The worst score for Manny was 7-5 (rounds). The fairest was 8-4.”
Pacquiao had the same reply to criticisms: “Watch the replay. It’s clear I won.”
Arum said Pacquiao was a victim of expectations, and his failure to knock Marquez out was what created the perception of his defeat. Some notable experts also rushed to the defense of Pacquiao, including trainer Emanuel Steward, who said Marquez did not do enough to steal the crown.
“People were expecting Manny to mop the ring with Marquez,” said Arum, who had, even before the match, declared the 10-1 odds favoring Pacquiao as “ridiculous.”
The result triggered snowballing calls for a fourth installment of their rivalry, nipping the momentum that was building up slowly for a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. megabout next year.
Golden Boy Promotions and Team Mayweather blasted Arum’s intent to pursue a fourth fight with Marquez, saying the undefeated American is all set to do battle with Pacquiao in May next year.
“We have been informed that Bob Arum is not interested in pursuing a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao at this time,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.
“I am sick and tired of Bob Arum twisting the truth. It’s another case of ‘Yesterday I was lying, today I’m telling the truth.’
“The truth of the matter is that we received this afternoon an e-mail from retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein, who informed us that Top Rank is pursuing a rematch with Marquez and, therefore, is not interested in … talks for a possible Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.”
“This is obviously as clear as it can be that they have no intentions of making a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight,” added Schaefer in the ESPN interview. “Therefore, Floyd Mayweather will have no other choice than to move on and identify and lock in another opponent for his ring return on May 5.”
But there are no plans yet for Pacquiao’s immediate future.
“We’ll know within the next two weeks what the plans are,” Arum said.