Several years ago boxing seemed to have a somewhat big pay-per-view almost every month. Lately, that trend has slowed down and, for the most part, that's a good thing. But here we are getting to the twilight of 2013 and it seems that old times have returned.
Not that it means anything horribly bad. Big fights, the really big ones at least, are always going to be on pay-per-view now. It's just the nature of the beast. If people are willing to pay for it, someone is willing to sell it. But now we are faced with what appears to be the final four months of the year each having its own PPV card.
The first one was the record-shattering card headlined by Floyd Mayweather against Canelo Alvarez in September. It will soon be followed by two Top Rank cards: Tim Bradley/Juan Manuel Marquez this Saturday and Manny Pacquiao/Brandon Rios on November 23. And the final major PPV of the year looks like it could be Adrien Broner squaring off with Marcos Maidana on December 14.
With all of these cards crammed together over this four month period, something is going to take a hit. Obviously, Mayweather/Canelo didn't and became the second biggest PPV in history in terms of buyrate. The success of that event has put a little heat on the others because consumers had to dig deep in their pockets to pay for such a card. That generally means money will be saved elsewhere, putting smaller cards like Marquez/Bradley and Broner/Maidana in difficult situations.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports and Ryan Burton of Boxing Scene recently asked Top Rank CEO Bob Arum about his predictions for his company's upcoming PPV cards. Refreshingly, his answers didn't seem like wishful, saccharine thinking:
"I think that Pacquiao - Rios will do 750,000-800,000 buys. I think this event (Bradley-Marquez) will do 350,000-450,000 buys. If this event does 350,000 it will be a very successful event."
I think I will have to agree with Arum on this one. Wisely, he doesn't shoot for the moon here and give out unrealistic expectations of events that are probably going to be the third and fourth biggest of the year from a PPV standpoint (although Pac/Rios may have a shot to surpass Mayweather/Guerrero). Bradley and Marquez were each successful B-sides to Pacquiao last year (even literally) but neither has ever been a proven PPV draw as the A-side. In fact, when Bradley stepped in the ring with Pacquiao last year it was the first time he had ever headlined a major PPV.
Agree with Arum's predictions? Or do you think they will do better/worse?