In the lead up to their fight against Brandon Rios last month, Manny Pacquiao and his team insisted that anything over 350,000 PPV buys for an overseas event would be a massive success. This past week, Top Rank Boss said that he believed the match had done something in the 500,000 buys range – give or take 10,000. Well, now we know the actual number. And based on said number, it’s safe to say that all involved with Pacquiao’s camp would be wise to work very diligently to set up a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao, 34, defeated Rios, 27, a couple of weeks ago. The match went largely as expected, with Rios absorbing a whole lot of punishment and Pacquiao proving that he wasn’t capable of knocking anyone out anymore. According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, their match did a total of 450,000 buys. If the “350,000+ buys is fantastic” spiel was true, then maybe Arum and Co. are happy with that. After all, they did say that they estimated the PPV buys hit from fighting overseas and that the Venetian in Macao made up for it. So, maybe. But probably not.
If anything, the simple fact that Pacquiao has been relegated to fighting outside the United States speaks volumes about how desperately he needs a fight against Floyd Mayweather.
Mind you, Mayweather’s last “unsuccessful” bout, against Robert Guerrero, did just under what Pacquiao’s last successful bout did against Juan Manuel Marquez. Mayweather followed up that “unsuccessful” PPV showing with 2.2 million buys in the Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fight. Pacquiao followed his up with 450,000.
Speaking with Dan Rafael of ESPN, Arum was asked if Timothy Bradley, Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez were next in line for a shot at Pacquiao.
"It'll be one of those guys," he said.
It shouldn’t be. For Pacquiao’s sake, it should be Mayweather. Marquez is going to demand a boatload of money. Bradley isn’t a draw. Provodnikov has zero commercial viability.
Whatever Pacquiao and his team have to do to secure a Mayweather bout, they should do it. Not because fans want it. Not because the sport has desperately been calling for this match for four years. No, for purely selfish reasons – because they need it.