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Showtime Wants a Pacquiao Knockout

1/31/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Boxing promoter Top Rank
hopes a one-two marketing and distribution
punch for Showtime and broadcast-
network sibling CBS will help generate
close to 2 million pay-per-view buys
for the May 7 Manny Pacquiao-“Sugar”
Shane Mosley match, Top Rank president
Bob Arum said.

Showtime will distribute the pay-perview
event, to be its second such outing
in 2011, following the scheduled March
7 Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga bout.
It last stepped into the PPV boxing ring
in 2005.

Also, CBS will broadcast three
30-minute specials revolving around
Showtime’s four-episode Fight Camp
360 documentary series previewing
the PPV event, Arum told Multichannel
News
.

The broad exposure that Showtime
and CBS will provide the fight convinced
Top Rank to walk away from
HBO, which had distributed Pacquiao’s
11 prior PPV fights.

“This is new, but this is something
that we’ve dreamed about and now we
get to see it happen,” he said. “If this
works, this will set the blueprint for the
future of PPV boxing, and could lead to
more boxing on broadcast television going
forward.”

Top Rank’s goal for the fight is to surpass
2 million buys, Arum said. That
would make it the second-biggest PPV
event of all time, trailing only the 2.4 million-
buy Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La
Hoya matchup from 2007.

Pacquiao’s last fight — a lopsided win
against Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13 —
drew 1.15 million PPV buys and some
$64 million in revenue, second last
year only to Mosley’s May 1 loss to Floyd
Mayweather, which generated 1.4 million
buys and $78.3 million in revenue.

“If our theory is correct, the deal will
stimulate buys,” said Arum. “Everybody
knows Pacquiao — he has an [Muhammad]
Ali-like persona.”

September