Other than Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao is the biggest name in professional boxing. His most recent fight, however, didn’t draw as much interest as some thought it would.
On April 12, Pacquiao’s fight with Timothy Bradley generated between 750,000 and 800,000 pay-per-view buys. While the official number has yet to be reported by HBO, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is calling it a disappointment.
Pacquiao defeated Bradley in their rematch from June 2012. In the first bout, Bradley took the WBO welterweight title in a controversial split decision. That fight did 890,000 PPV buys. According to Arum, the most recent fight failed to reach expectations because of PacMan’s opponent.
"The absence of Mexican or Hispanic opponent hurt," Arum told ESPN.com. "If you had a challenger like, for example, Marquez, the fight would do over a million buys. Tim is a great fighter but he's not Hispanic and he we tried everything to energize the black community without that much success. But we all made money on the fight. We did OK."
It’s more than likely that Pacquiao’s next opponent will be Hispanic. Pacquiao is expected to take on the winner of the fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado. The Mexican-born Marquez is expected to win, with his betting odds listed at -260 at Bovada.lv.
Pacquiao and Marquez have faced off four times, but their fifth fight would likely produce better numbers than Pacquiao-Bradley II. In December 2012, Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in the sixth round, beating him for the first time. That fight generated approximately one million PPV buys.
Before taking on Pacquiao for a second time, Bradley met Marquez in October. Bradley won, and the fight generated over 375,000 buys. A month later, Pacquiao beat Brandon Rios on a card that produced about 475,000 buys.
Pacquiao-Bradley II grossed $49 million in PPV revenue. The fight was held in Las Vegas, but PacMan’s next fight could be set in Macau, China, where Pacquiao defeated Rios in November.
"Having (future Pacquiao) fights in Macau makes so much sense because we can do huge site fees and we want to launch pay-per-view in China,” Arum said. “We couldn't get it up and running for the Rios fight but we will, and then, between that and the site fee, we won't be so reliant on the pay-per-view in the United States."
Pacquiao-Marquez V or Pacquiao-Alvarado would likely take place towards the end of 2014.