The Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios HBO pay-per-view produced only 475,000 buys, according to multiple reports. Even with anticipated lower than usual numbers due to the fight being held out of the United States, Pacquiao vs. Rios producing less than 500k buys hurts both HBO and Top Rank, not to mention Pacquiao himself.
On the one hand, somebody such as, oh, Floyd Mayweather, will be licking his chops looking at those numbers. With such a disparity between the perceived standing of each man in the sport right now both in ability and fan appeal in the United States, Mayweather could essentially make any demand or receive any share of the total earnings for a mega-fight against Pacquiao.
Despite the fact that Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is four years too late, it’s still a fight that fans will want to see, and pay to see.
On the other hand, Mayweather may simply look at those numbers and wonder, why bother, or who cares? He’s doing plenty of big business all on his own, and with so much strife between him, and Bob Arum and Top Rank, why should he give them any kind of big opportunity?
Nevertheless, a potential Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight is already a talking point across the sport. Whether bad Pacquiao vs. Rios PPV sales hurt Pacquiao at the negotiating table, or make a Mayweather fight an impossibility, is still to be seen.
Either way, it’s a quick fall for Pacquiao. One year ago he was one of the top two fighters in the world, the biggest and most in demand boxer in the business, and very much in control of his in-the-ring destiny. A bad decision, a brutal knockout loss, and now, some poor pay-per-view sales, change things in a hurry.