Not long ago, I spent some time trying to find out what kind of business the September Juan Manuel Marquez-Joel Casamayor lightweight (135 lbs.) championship fight did on pay-per-view, and came up empty. In his new pound-for-pound rankings, ESPN’s Dan Rafael shared the number of buys while sizing up Marquez:
Marquez’s drawing power when he’s not fighting somebody with a big name such as [Manny] Pacquiao or Marco Antonio Barrera has to be questioned after the Casamayor bout did less than 100,000 buys on pay-per-view.
That’s a depressingly low figure for Marquez, my favorite fighter — far lower than I expected, even. I do think it raises the very question Rafael brought up, but let’s not forget that even die hard Marquez fans such as myself weren’t much looking forward to watching this fight for $50. Discerning fans justifiably predicted that two natural counter-punchers would spend a lot of time staring at each other, waiting for the other guy to make his first move. That it didn’t end up like that is secondary. The fear was not without reason, and anyone with that fear surely would have thought twice about ponying up the big bucks to see things unfold.
If HBO isn’t rethinking its policy about which fights should get PPV treatment as opposed to which fights should be on its regular subscription channel after the last few months in light of all the recent bombs, I’m not sure it ever will.