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Sunday, May 03, 2009
Boxing--- Manny Pacquiao is truly a once-in-a-generation talent. Last night, the world witnessed another amazing performance from a fighter who has been putting on amazing performances for years now.
However, when it comes to the PPV buyrate of last night's show, I don't think it's going to be as high as some of boxing's other huge fights, at least not when it comes to North American PPV buys. Ricky Hatton's fights always perform amazingly well on PPV in the United Kingdom, but I'm just talking about and referring to North American PPV buys in this post.
Consider that when Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fought and beat Oscar de la Hoya, that PPV shattered all of the records in the PPV industry with 2.4 million buys. But when Mayweather, coming off of that win over De la Hoya, fought Hatton, it "only" drew 850,000 PPV buys. That is still a gigantic PPV buyrate no matter how you look at it, but it was barely one-third of the record-setting Mayweather vs. De la Hoya PPV buyrate.
Now Pacquiao is in a similar situation, having fought and beaten De la Hoya and then fighting Hatton in his next fight after that. Unlike Mayweather vs. De la Hoya, Pacquiao vs. De la Hoya didn't shatter all of the records in the history of the PPV industry. It drew around 1.2 million buys, which is incredible, but not Mayweather vs. De la Hoya numbers.
So, let's say Pacquiao's fight against Hatton draws roughly one-third of the North American buys that Pacquiao's fight against De la Hoya drew. That would be 400,000 buys. I do think it's going to do better than that, but probably not by too much, even though HBO's four-part "Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7" series was absolutely brilliant television and probably the best "24/7" series since the original "De la Hoya/Mayweather 24/7."
If I had to guess, I'd say that the final number will be more than 500,000 and less than 600,000.
Remember, the initial estimates that are released by HBO are generally at least 10% smaller than the final number, so if they announce an initial estimate of 500,000, that means the final number would likely be a little more than 550,000.
That is the neighborhood in which I think the Pacquiao vs. Hatton PPV buyrate is going to end up in terms of North American buys and not counting the huge U.K. PPV sales.
Now, as for the potential fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather, I think that would draw more buys than Pacquiao vs. Hatton in North America, but first Mayweather has to get past Juan Manuel Marquez, and that is a major task.
Mayweather picked a hell of a fight for his comeback match, facing one of the top boxers on the planet after not having fought in a year-and-a-half.
If Marquez does beat Mayweather, then Pacquiao vs. Marquez III would do pretty well in its own right (after all, Pacquiao vs. Marquez II already drew a solid 450,000 or so buys in early 2008), but Pacquiao vs. Mayweather would draw a lot more buys.