Money dictates Pacquiao-Marquez IVBy Percy D. Della
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SACRAMENTO, California—It all boiled down to the almighty buck.
Despite claims to the contrary, money was the root of all considerations for a fourth fight between boxing’s Bobbsey twins—Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez—in Las Vegas on Dec. 8.
Here’s how Manny’s managers painted the scenario for the bout at the MGM Grand Hotel and Resort.
Pacquiao opted to drop a chance to face Timothy Bradley to spare fans from a “boring fight.”
Boxing’s only eight-division champ himself told ESPN Sports there was no compelling reason to fight Bradley in a rematch since in his eyes, and in the eyes of the ring world, he won their fight comfortably five months ago.
Bradley, meanwhile, still is adamantly sketching himself as a profitable pick for Pacquiao. After all, controversy or not, he divested the Filipino sports icon of his WBO welterweight belt.
But then it is not hard to understand what Bob Arum, Manny’s business-savvy promoter, thinks of Bradley, the “Desert Storm” from Cathedral City, California.
When it comes to pay-per-view (PPV) receipts, Bradley, in Arum’s view, is no cash cow. A Pacquiao-Bradley II is not enough to get as many dollar signs dancing in his head.
Pacquiao’s third fight with Marquez in November last year generated 1.25 million PPV purchases, while his bout with Bradley in June brought in only 850,000 PPV buys.
Arum is also brandishing a study, probably commissioned by his own Top Rank Promotions that shows 33 percent of PPV matches in America are purchased by Latinos between the ages of 18 and 29, with 60 percent of those audiences consisting of Latinos.
Coupled with this is the given that Pacquiao has Filipino-American sports fans eating out of his hand, making Pinoy partisans a huge boxing constituency in the States.
So it was a no-brainer for Arum to pencil in a fourth Pacquiao-Marquez encounter.
Besides, when talk turns to ring warfare, diehards are turned off by Bradley’s rules of engagement. Despite a boring hit-and-hide style, Bradley made a cool $5 million he did not deserve in a fight most felt he had really lost decisively to Pacquiao.
PPV subscribers would rather watch two tanks shoot it out: Manny versus Juan Manuel, his ring doppelganger, who should get some kind of a medal for putting up a good fight, punch by punch, toe to toe.
Perhaps for Pacquiao, who stands to earn $25 million for fighting the historic Mexican again, it’s not so much about the money anymore.
His burning desire is to close out his legendary career in grand fashion.
The fighting congressman from Sarangani province may face Floyd Mayweather Jr. next year. Win or lose he could hang up his gloves for good.
But even before he steps into the ring with Mayweather, Pacquiao seeks to silence the ringing public criticism—that he has never really beaten Marquez—after settling for a draw with the Mexican warrior in 2004 and taking a contentious split decision in 2008 and an equally disputed majority decision last year.
By ignoring Bradley, Pacquiao chose a better option and a doable goal: Make a big statement in the ring and beat Marquez decisively the fourth time around.
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