Bob Arum, the promoter for WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s), revealed to the NY Daily News on Tuesday that he’s working on a deal between Pacquiao and WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KO’s) for them to face each other next on November 22nd in Macao, China.
Arum has complained in the past that Pacquiao’s declining pay-per-view numbers are a product of boxing fans being fatigued from too many PPV events that aren’t worthy of being put on PPV. Well, I think that the fight that he’s trying to make between his fighter Pacquiao and Algieri is a perfect example of a fight that arguably doesn’t belong on pay-per-view.
I imagine that if you were put Arum’s feet to the fire, he’d agree with you that Pacquiao-Algieri is not a PPV worthy fight, and that it’s more of a regular HBO fight, if not a regular ESPN2 level attraction. But don’t count on Arum putting it on regular HBO, because that’s not going to happen in a million years. This fight will clearly be sold on PPV, and it’ll be up to the boxing public whether they want to pay to watch the mismatch or not.
But Arum is obviously making a huge mistake in selecting Algeiri for the fight instead of someone more popular, because Arum is likely going to discover quickly that the fans have no interest in watching this mismatch, at least not when they’re being asked to shell out $70 to see Pacquiao destroy a guy with even less power and less of a chance of winning than Pacquiao’s last opponent Tim Bradley.
Pacquiao-Algieri will be lucky if it brings in 400,000 PPV buys. It’s going to be funny to see Arum trying to explain why the fight failed to bring in a lot of buys after the face. I’m guessing Arum will say it’s because of the public’s antipathy to the monthly PPV events on cable, but the reality is that boxing fans simply don’t see this fight as a PPV worthy match-up, and as such, they’ll likely wait until the fight is televised on regular HBO a week later rather than pay $70 to watch a one-sided fight.