Cable Operators

Boxing’s Two Biggest Stars in Flux

6/18/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Pay-per-view boxing matches this fall featuring
the category’s two cash cows — Manny Pacquiao
and Floyd Mayweather — are in flux after Pacquiao’s controversial
loss on June 9 to Timothy Bradley Jr.

What’s clear is that the event fight fans have been waiting
for — a Mayweather-Pacquaio showdown —is all but
dead for 2012, after Pacquiao
lost a disputed 12-round decision
to the undefeated Bradley,
one nearly all ringside observers
and fight fans believe Pacquaio
won handily.

Officials from neither the
fight’s promotion company, Top
Rank, nor Pacquiao-Bradley distributor
HBO would comment on
the bout’s PPV-buy performance,
but industry observers believe the matchup will finish at between
900,000 and 1 million buys.
If the fight hits the 1 million-buy mark, it would be the
second fight to hit seven figures this year. The May 5 Floyd
Mayweather-Miguel Cotto fight generated 1.4 million buys.

What’s next for the two fighters is unclear. Mayweather is
currently serving a 90-day jail sentence for threatening his
ex-girlfriend. He could fight in November or December of
this year, once he serves out his sentence, although nothing
is set in stone, according to industry sources.

Top Rank president Bob Arum has already slated Nov. 10
for a potential Pacquiao-Bradley rematch under the contract
terms of the fighters’ June 9 bout, but no agreement for a rematch
was in place at press time.

Top Rank has also not ruled out a potential
fourth bout between Pacquiao and Marquez
later this fall, according to industry sources.
Representatives from Top Rank could not be
reached for comment at press time.

It’s unclear whether the unpopular Pacquiao-
Bradley decision will leave a bad taste in PPV
fight fans’ mouths and negatively affect future
buy-rates. In Demand executive vice president
of programming and general counsel Michael
Berman doesn’t think the category will suffer a
financial blow due to the controversial decision.

“Based on past controversial decisions, we see no reason
to think that future events will be affected negatively,”
Berman said. “In some ways, [the fight controversy] will
build up Tim Bradley as a viable opponent in a rematch
with Pacquiao.”

September