How many PPV buys will the PACQUIAO-VARGAS fight generate?

The biggest question surrounding the November 5 Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas encounter is the number of pay-per-view buys would it generate. The financial success of the WBO world welterweight championship at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada is measured by the number of PPV purchases which avid fans would patronize.

For the first time neither HBO nor Showtime will handle the broadcast of the fight. The main reason is that it is too near to the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight unification bout on November 19. So Top Rank has to do it on their own. But it has not been tested yet.

The PPV buys depend on how popular the two protagonists and how are they evenly matched. Since the Pacquiao vs. Oscar de la Hoya fight which generated 1.25 million PPV buys, Pacquiao’s next fights have been considered financial triumphs:

Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton – 800,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto – 1,250,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey – 700,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito – 1,150,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley – 1,340,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 3 – 1,400,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 4 – 1,150,000 buys

After his unpopular knockout loss to Marquez, Pacquiao fights have been on a decline based on PPV sales:

Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley I – 890,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios – 475,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley II – 800,000 buys
Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri – 400,000 buys

But the much awaited “Fight of the Century” Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. broke all-time PPV records at 4.6 million buys. Affected by the frustrations of the lacklustre Pacquiao-Mayweather clash, the third edition of the Pacquiao vs. Bradley sold only 400,000 PPV’s.

So damaging was the effect of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in the PPV business in boxing that no big-named fights exceeded the 1 million mark. Only the Canelo Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto reached near the million figures at 900,000. All the rest are box-office flops.

A conservative estimate of the Pacquiao-Vargas PPV is pegged at 300,000 buys. But Top Rank boss Bob Arum predicted figures more than that. He assembled a great undercard including the Nonito Donaire vs. Jessie Magdaleno WBO superbantamweight title fight which is more interesting than the Pacquiao- Vargas main event.

Vargas’ credentials would hardly impress the media and the boxing fans themselves. His only advantage is age, ten years junior. Nevertheless, Pacquiao has to score a spectacular knockout. Or else, a boring fight will bring PPV buys far below in the next fight, if ever there is still one next year. (


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