Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto Nears 1.5 Million Buys

Lem Satterfield

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said that the early pay-per-view numbers released on Manny Pacquiao's victory over Miguel Cotto are "over a million and under 1.5 million buys -- and that's without all of the precincts being reported."

"They're not really accurate yet, but all that we can say with absolute certainty is that Pacquiao-Cotto was the biggest, revenue-producing event on pay-per-view for the entire year," said Arum. "And that surpasses all of the UFC. Everything. Any event. It's the biggest event of the year from the standpoint of revenue being generated."

Arum, who promotes Pacquiao (50-3-2, 37 knockouts), said that he met with officials at HBO on Thursday concerning the numbers.

Arum said that he expects Mark Taffet, HBO's senior vice president of pay-per-view, to release a statement on Friday when all of the numbers are totaled up.

"That's without Washington, D.C., being reported, Baltimore, California -- a lot of Comcast Systems," said Arum. "But based on what we have, we can make that statement -- that Pacquiao-Cotto was the biggest revenue-generating pay-per-view event of the year."

Arum had hoped to begin negotiating with Richard Shaefer of Golden Boy Promotions concerning a potential Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) matchup when the numbers were released, but would not elaborate on whether or not that had taken place.

However, according to sources with knowledge of their intentions, Arum and Shaefer could meet as early as next week to begin working on a deal to make Mayweather-Pacquiao.

During an Oct. 6 interview with FanHouse, Taffet said September's Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez bout produced more than a million pay-per-view buys -- only the fifth non-heavyweight fight to reach seven figures.

So with Pacquiao-Cotto and Mayweather-Marquez, boxing history was made, for their pay-per-view numbers marked the first time since 1999 that two fights generated more than a million pay-per-view buys in the same year, joining Felix Trinidad-Oscar De La Hoya and Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield.

"Floyd Mayweather clearly has proven his star status by generating the kinds of pay-per-view numbers that very few men in the history of the sport have ever generated," said Taffet, who last month called Mayweather "a bona-fide superstar in the ring and out of the ring."

"Floyd has proven to be the No. 1 attraction in urban markets across America, and over the past few years, Floyd Mayweather is also a major attraction across all demographics," said Taffet.

"The facts speak for themselves. Mayweather has participated in the biggest fight in he history of the sport -- Oscar De La Hoya-Mayweather, which generated 2.4 million buys," said Taffet. "Floyd just generated with Juan Manuel Marquez over one million buys on Sept. 19. That's rarified air."

Mayweather also generated 920,000 buys against Ricky Hatton in 2007, said Taffet, adding that "Mayweather clearly has proven his star status by generating the kinds of pay-per-view numbers that very few men in the history of the sport have ever generated."

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