Newark, N.J. — According to HBO, the Manny Pacquiao-Oscar De La Hoya fight from this past weekend did 1.25 million buys on pay-per-view.
To me, that’s a pretty big success, even if it’s significantly less than originally anticipated. It falls short of Pacqiao promoter Bob Arum’s bullish 2 million and the 1.5 million or so Golden Boy Promotions hoped for, but I think Arum was way off and Golden Boy’s hopes, while reasonable, were also a little optimistic. I thought it would do about 1 million.
Think about all that was going against the fight: the bad economy; the $54.95 price tag for what turned out to be one fight of note and three horrid undercard bouts; how little-known Pacquiao was in the United States; that even casual fans knew De La Hoya was faded; and the perception among many hardcore fans that this was a freak show more than a real fight.
I’ll have more thoughts on yet more Pacquiao-De La Hoya aftermath soon, including the peculiar tale of Sergio Manuel Medina saying he took a dive in the Juan Manuel Lopez fight on the undercard, and whether it’s a good thing that this fight sold pretty well. For now, I’m about to head over to the Prudential Center for the weigh-in of the Steve Cunningham-Tomasz Adamek bout; I’ll be filing dispatches on that, too…