Manny Pacquiao ended his brief retirement from boxing on November 5th with a unanimous decision victory over Jessie Vargas. While it was a great victory to get the Filipino boxing legend back on track for a big fight, it performed horribly by Pacquiao standards when it comes to pay per view buys.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum estimates that the Pacquiao-Vargas PPV -- which was produced and distributed by Top Rank when HBO bypassed on the fight – will end up pulling in a “little over” 300,000 buys. If that’s the case, this will be the least watched Pacquiao PPV since his 2008 fight with David Diaz, which was right before his breakout performance against Oscar De La Hoya. Pacquiao hadn’t seen a PPV number below 400,000 since then.
“They’re still coming in,” Arum said in an interview with RingTV. “It’s harder to get without HBO. But about where the Bradley numbers are, around the same. A little over 300 (thousand). The numbers are what the numbers are.”
Pacquiao’s stock appears to have taken a blow after his abysmal performance against Floyd Mayweather in the megafight last May that broke records with 4.4 million PPV buys. Pacquiao lost a unanimous decision in a fight that was expected to produce some fireworks. Since then, interest in Manny Pacquiao has dipped severely. But Arum remained upbeat and figures that the eight-division world champion still has a few big fights left in him.
“I think it’s a good number,” Arum said. “We’re pleased with it in the way we set it up. Everybody made a payday. You can’t expect in this environment to hit a home run every time.”
Ultimately, this likely means that Pacquiao and Arum will be after a rematch with Floyd Mayweather in an effort to maximize the soon to be 38-year-old’s earning potential before he retires for good.