Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez hit New York on Wednesday as part of the press tour for their December 8 fight, the fourth time the two will meet. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says that he expects a quick sellout for the fight at the MGM Grand:
"It’s already obviously a hot ticket because orders are already pouring in. We expect in the first month or so that we will have a complete sellout. This is a very, very high in-demand type of event."
There is some question as to what the real public demand for this fight is, but I'll say right now I expect it will be very successful, both at the gate and on pay-per-view. Tickets are priced high, but they were last year, too, and the fight did what is now the 10th-best gate in Nevada history.
I don't see any reason this fight won't do the same type of gate -- Pacquiao remains a hot ticket, I'm guessing, and Marquez has fans that are going to turn up, just like last year. Plus, you have the whole Big Fight thing. Maybe Manny's in the decline (I believe he is), but he's a star, and his fights carry weight.
As for the PPV (which will be priced at $59.95 HD, the new standard), I don't know if they'll equal last year's 1.3 million or so buys. They might fall a bit short there. It's closer to Christmas than last year, but then again, that didn't have any real impact on the Cotto-Margarito II sales last year, as that fight outperformed expectations.
So basically, I think they'll do fine. We might spend two and a half months saying, "I don't know how big a fight this is. Does anyone really want it?" But I suspect everyone will be happy in the end with how the fight does financially. We're still talking about two of the best boxers on the planet, with an easy-to-sell history and actual STAR POWER.