Nobody wanted to see Manny Pacquiao fight Timothy Bradley again. The pair’s June bout was horrendous in every way imaginable, and that was before it ultimately ended in the Filipino champion getting robbed of a victory that clearly should have been his. From the very first round to the very last round, aside from a few minor hiccups, Pacquiao controlled the action with surprising dominance. Everyone who saw that fight came away with the same conclusion: we don’t need to see a repeat of this massacre.
So, yeah – the general public’s attitude towards that potential rematch was totally understandable. What was less understandable, however, was the apparent reluctance some had regarding a fourth showdown between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Obviously seeing the same fight four times is never ideal – but if any rivalry is worthy of that sort of repetitiveness, it’s most definitely this one. Even though Marquez has never actually earned a victory over his Filipino counterpart, he has kept it a lot closer than any of Pacquiao’s other recent opponents. And, really, there is a very reasonable case to be made that he won the pair’s third fight last November.
Either way, though, regardless of where you come down on who the true winner was last time, the idea of Pacquiao versus Marquez always seemed much more palatable than Pacquiao versus Bradley, or Pacquiao versus Miguel Cotto part deux, or Pacquiao versus anyone-not-named-Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It just seemed clear that this was the best fight available. And because it seemed so obvious that this was the case, it was mildly surprising when a bunch of fans voiced their displeasure after it was officially announced.
Well, as it turns out, even though that group was loud, they apparently represented a tiny minority. Overall there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for this December’s showdown – and the event’s ticket sales reflect that assessment. As noted by ESPN’s Dan Rafael:
The tickets for the fight went on sale Friday, and promoter Top Rank announced that 13,000 were sold in the first few days, leaving fewer than 3,000 for a fight that is still more than two months away. If the numbers are legit, that's a big opening sale.
"We are ecstatic with the response," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said of the initial ticket sales.
Numbers don’t lie.
Again, even though this fight may not be ideal, it was the best option available. And seeing as it is actually a really good match-up, too, you can probably expect to hear more headlines just like this about ticket sales and PPV intake doing really, really well.
This fight will deliver in terms of revenue. Now it’s on the fighters involved to do their part and deliver the fans a good return on their money spent.