When Manny Pacquiao fought Chris Algieri back on November 22 in Macau, fans were treated to dominant victory for the Filipino boxing superstar over his little-known American opponent.
Algieri, of New York, would rise from the canvas six times to narrowly escape a TKO loss. It was the most dominant performance in years for Pacquiao, who continued to call out longtime rival Floyd Mayweather, Jr. after the bout.
But, rumored results indicate, the event was far from a knockout in terms of Pay-Per-View buys.
Boxing matchmaker Rick Glazer shared the bad news on his Twitter account today:
— Rick Glaser (@RickGlaser1) December 3, 2014
The history of Pacquaio’s pay-per-view events can be found from Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports. You’ll find that the numbers are much lower than anything Pacquiao mustered in the last six years or so. His last, a bout with Tim Bradley earlier this year, scored more than twice as many buys as November’s.
So, assuming the numbers are true — what happened?
There was little anticipation for the event, at least for most fans.
It’s no offense to Algieri, who is by all accounts a nice guy. He’s clearly a good boxer who was able to score an upset over a name opponent in Ruslan Provodnikov, as well. Certainly no one will deny that the former kickboxing world titlist has the heart of a champion — for that matter, he came back from knockdowns to earn a victory in the Provodnikov fight. Most fans, like me, would enjoy seeing him headline a Friday Night Fights broadcast. But a $70 PPV… might be a bit hard to justify.
The event was at the same time as a UFC Fight Night which did fairly well, as we discussed here at Caged Insider. Somehow I don’t think that plays into these numbers as much as we’d like to think, though.
I think boxing fans are tired. Quite literally, last month they stayed up to midnight ET for Pacquiao and Algieri to enter the ring. But more importantly, they’re tired of pay-per-view events which don’t feature enough pay-per-view worthy fighters. Maybe an event like this would have made a great gesture to put on TV as a thank-you to loyal fight fans — but a PPV event it wasn’t.
Ironically, this may make the Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao fight more difficult to arrange. But hopefully, good will come of it as well — and overall event quality will improve.