Despite it seeming like there was more buzz for the rematch than there was for their first fight in 2012, the April 12 HBO pay-per-view rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley did disappointing pay-per-view buys, with promoter Bob Arum telling ESPN.com that the fight did about 750,000 to 800,000 buys.
Arum admitted the numbers were a disappointment, and it appears now that the mediocre U.S. PPV returns for this fight may lead Pacquiao back to Macau, where he fought Brandon Rios last November.
"We're between 750,000 and 800,000. Sure, it's a disappointment... I'm telling you, it is what it is. The numbers are the numbers. Having (future Pacquiao) fights in Macau makes so much sense because we can do huge site fees and we want to launch pay-per-view in China. We couldn't get it up and running for the Rios fight but we will, and then, between that and the site fee, we won't be so reliant on the pay-per-view in the United States."
Pacquiao-Rios did even worse on pay-per-view, but Arum is now, obviously, focusing less on that and more on revenue from other streams. Don't be mistaken, though. It's not that Arum wants to halfway throw in the towel on U.S. PPV money, it's just that he sees it for what it is. Manny Pacquiao's time as a million seller on pay-per-view, at least as an automatic million, are over.
Arum believes, too, that the lack of a Mexican or Hispanic opponent hurt the fight, saying that Bradley and Top Rank tried to "energize the black community, without that much success."
Should Pacquiao and Arum head back to Macau for their next fight? Is it time to take advantage of that budding market and perhaps leave Vegas behind?