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Mayweather-Marquez ticket sales still a problem

Ticket sales remain sluggish for the September 19 battle between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez. Promoters are trying to express no concern.
Ticket sales remain sluggish for the September 19 battle between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez. Promoters are trying to express no concern.

T.K. Stewart reports that ticket sales for the September 19 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez are still a troublesome sign that the fight just hasn't sold, isn't selling, and isn't going to sell.

Back when this fight was scheduled for July 18 (after being announced on the afternoon of May 2), Golden Boy fighter and office man Shane Mosley reportedly said that less than 3,000 tickets had moved for the fight, which was scrapped due to an alleged training injury to Mayweather.

The fight was moved to the weekend of Mexican Independence Day, a clear indicator that something more may have been postponing the bout than just a roughed-up rib on Floyd. This was a strange business decision even when you take into account that Mexican fans are probably the most loyal boxing pay-per-view audience there is, what with UFC 103 taking place on the same night.

But it doesn't look like it's worked. Anticipation has been minimal, hype for the show has mostly been about how hard of a sell it's been, and tickets are still readily available at every price for the 17,000-seat MGM Grand in Vegas.

Hotel rooms at the MGM Grand are also plentiful on the weekend of the fight. The MGM is offering deeply discounted packages for hotel room and fight ticket combinations. The "VIP" packages include fight tickets, a complimentary limousine ride to and from McCarran International Airport, as well as credits that total $200 for food, beverage, and use of various extras the hotel offers.


Tickets for the Pacquiao vs. Cotto fight became available to the public on Aug. 17. Within a matter of hours, Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank, Inc. announced that the arena was a virtual sell-out. Arum indicated that advance bulk orders of tickets had been placed by the Las Vegas casino operators and "only 2,100 would be sold to the public."

Tickets had been on sale less than 24 hours when Top Rank announced that approximately 1,000 seats remained and those were in the highest price ranges - indicating that a sellout is a virtual certainty – nearly two months in advance of the fight.

There is absolutely no question -- NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER -- that Cotto-Pacquiao is a hotter ticket than Mayweather-Marquez, and there's no spinning this one from the "Pretty Boy," because about the only nice thing he's said about Marquez is that he has a lot of Mexican fans and would be good for business.

So who's to blame? Is Marquez less popular than Mayweather thought? Or could it possibly be that Mayweather, after two years off doing pro wrestling shows and occasionally popping up to run his mouth, just isn't the draw he thought he was? Mayweather was never a draw before he met Oscar de la Hoya in 2007, and while his fight with Ricky Hatton did well, that was a special circumstance. His name was hot, both men were undefeated, and their personality clashes made for a marketing dream scenario.

This isn't the same. Marquez is being treated even by HBO's production team as an afterthought, a name and little more, trying to do something miraculous with such a low possibility of successfully slaying the dragon that he might as well go ahead and marinate himself in spices before he gets eaten alive.

Promotion has been horrible, and to add to that, too many fans, writers, etc., think they're seeing through this one. It's Mayweather back to his old tricks, in their minds, taking on a smaller man that can't beat him for a paycheck and nothing more.

One more note from T.K. Stewart:

A popular on-line ticketing service is currently selling a ringside seat to Mayweather vs. Marquez for $4,590 each. The exact same seat for Pacquiao vs. Cotto is currently priced at $10,943.

Any questions from Team Mayweather?

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