It may not be a fight that many have been pining away to see, but that doesn’t mean Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez’s third and final bout in their longstanding rivalry won’t do big PPV numbers. Or at least that’s the company line at Top Rank, and they’re sticking to it.
Over the last few months, there has been a lot of chatter regarding just how successful the final part of this highly-scrutinized trilogy could possibly be given all of the things working against it.
First and foremost, the result is all but decided – with just about everyone agreeing that Pacquiao will wipe the floor with Marquez in little to no time. No suspense, in theory, means less intrigue. Then, of course, there is the issue of timing.
The Pacquiao v. Marquez bout comes on the heels of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fight against Victor Ortiz, and some industry experts believe that because that fight is expected to be more competitive, it will steal some of the thunder away from Pacquiao and Marquez’s match which comes two months afterwards.
Finally, UFC on Fox debuts on the night of Pacquiao vs. Marquez; though, Dana White made it a point to wrap up the festivities before the main event is set to air. Still, with everyone caught up in a UFC frame of mind, they may not feel like paying an obnoxious sum of money to watch one fight – the fight, mind you, which is the most predictable of the night.
Apparently Top Rank has heard all of these questions about their event, and isn’t particularly worried. Speaking to reporters recently, the company’s executive event producer Brad Jacobs had this to say:
"It’s a great fight to begin with,” he explained.
"It’s has the potential to be the most watched Pacquiao fight on pay-per-view. We did close to 1.4 million with Mosley," said Jacobs. "I can’t put any numbers to that. Our goal is to exceed the expectations—get to 1.4 million and go past it.
"And a lot of people think it’s even at this point. So we have this trilogy.”
Despite what Jacobs may say in public, the truth is: Top Rank is banking on Pacquiao’s star power. He’s an international icon with an almost innate ability to draw interest and intrigue with anything does – regardless of whether it’s fighting a stiff like Mosley or dining with Paris Hilton. He just has that certain it factor and, that -- not the history between the men, or the promises of a “great fight,” or whatever else Bob Arum and his gang try to say -- is the reason it will garner PPV buys.
Still, this promises to be one of the more fascinating boxing storylines to keep an eye on in the coming months. Time and time again, Pacquiao has saved otherwise awful PPVs via his charisma and ability to inspire dedication from his fans.
Will lightening strike again on November 12?