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HBO releases official PPV numbers: 1.25 million

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Source: LA Times

Not bad. Not bad at all. This is only the fourth time in history that a non-heavyweight fight has done a million buys on pay-per-view. The others are also all Oscar (Mayweather, Trinidad, Hopkins), which probably went without saying.

It's basically exactly what I expected. It's not the 1.5 that Kevin Iole said they were tracking, but 1.25 million is still a ton of people, and makes it easily the #1 pay-per-view of the year for not just boxing, but all combat sports.

Here are the boxing numbers for 2008:

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* Buys are general estimations from various sources, with me trying to stay as reputable as possible.
Main Event Date Distributor Buys*
Roy Jones Jr. v. Felix Trinidad 01-19 HBO 500,000
Kelly Pavlik v. Jermain Taylor II 02-16 HBO 250,000
Juan Manuel Marquez v. Manny Pacquiao II 03-15 HBO 400,000
Manny Pacquiao v. David Diaz 06-28 HBO 200,000
Miguel Cotto v. Antonio Margarito 07-26 HBO 450,000
Juan Manuel Marquez v. Joel Casamayor 09-13 Golden Boy 100,000
Kelly Pavlik v. Bernard Hopkins 10-18 HBO 195,000
Joe Calzaghe v. Roy Jones Jr. 11-08 HBO 225,000
Oscar de la Hoya v. Manny Pacquiao 12-06 HBO 1,250,000

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Oscar-Manny just destroyed everything else. Here are a few things we learned this, year in my view:

  1. Joe Calzaghe, great as he is, is not a draw in the States. Period.
  2. Manny Pacquiao, great as he is, can't sell a mismatch like the one with Diaz.
  3. Kelly Pavlik is not yet a PPV draw. The Hopkins fight was disappointing, but B-Hop has never been a big drawing card, either. The rematch with Taylor, I'm sure they expected more than 250K for a rematch of one of the best and most talked-about fights of 2007.
  4. If you make a great fight (Cotto-Margarito, Marquez-Pacquiao II), the fans will buy it.
  5. People had one last gasp of love for Tito Trinidad.