No sellout at the MGM Grand is expected for Saturday night's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, as the Los Angeles Times reports a lagging secondary ticket market and a general disinterest in the fight, at least as compared to other recent major fights.
Todd duBoef of Top Rank, which is promoting the fight, said there is a difference in how fast tickets sell on the primary market - at the box office - and on the secondary market through brokers. As of Friday afternoon, he said, he had less than 2,000 tickets left, with the cheapest selling for $300. But Top Rank chief Bob Arum predicted a crowd of less than 16,000, several hundred below the arena's capacity.
Without question, this fight is going to fall well short of the marks of last month's Mayweather vs Cotto fight, which did 1.5 million buys on PPV, and had a gate of $12,000,150, slightly higher than Pacquiao-Marquez III last November.
One imagines a knocked-out duBoef, with an irrational Arum panicked against forces he cannot overpower:
No but really, I'm sure they were quite well prepared for a less-than-stellar showing at the gate, and my guess is PPV expectations have been lowered pretty dramatically, too. It's nothing to do with what this fight deserves: It is a very good matchup, about the best fight they could make right now, and it will make plenty of money live and on pay-per-view.
It's just that Tim Bradley's only had a few weeks of a hype show on a premium cable channel to make himself known to the general public. Seriously, nobody knows who this guy is. That's not his fault. He deserves better. But it's reality. He is for all intents and purposes an unknown fighter. The guy who has carried the promotion for many of us remains a mystery for most people out there.
That makes him a hard sell. The last time Manny fought a guy without much fanbase or hype coming into the fight, he sold about 700,000 pay-per-views against Joshua Clottey, and that had the novelty of being boxing's debut at Cowboys Stadium attached.
Low-end estimates from most are about one million on PPV, but I could see it slipping down into the 700-800K range. I'm excited for this fight. I think most diehard boxing fans are. But we're not the core of what drives a pay-per-view to over a million buys. If Manny alone can sell a verified million with this one, I think that's incredibly impressive. I hope he does. This fight should be worth more than it might actually be.
Bad Left Hook will have live round-by-round coverage of the entire Pacquiao vs Bradley card from the MGM Grand tonight, and updates throughout the day. Stick with us!