Speaking with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Bob Arum repeated something that he's said in the past, and something that has been a common belief in the boxing business for a long time: no matter how much hardcore boxing fans complain about weak pay-per-view undercards, it just doesn't have any impact on the business performance of the PPVs.
Speaking specifically about the just-announced Pacquiao-Bradley II undercard for April 12, Arum had this to say:
"In theory, yes, it makes sense to say, let's go get a lot of good, interesting fights and put them on the undercard, but the truth is - and I've been doing this a long, long time - 90 percent of the people don't want to see the undercard and don't care about it. But there is a point to the argument that we should give the other 10 percent something to watch that they'll enjoy, so we decided to try to put together a fun card for them."
The last Top Rank and HBO pay-per-view effort from November was Pacquiao-Rios, which did disappointing sales of "about 500,000," which some suspect might be a bit of an exaggeration. But Arum is right -- the main event sells the pay-per-view, not the undercard.
As an aside, that's why I think Golden Boy and Showtime deserve further credit for putting good fights on pay-per-view undercards (there's usually at least one perfectly good fight on their shows lately) -- that's why I refer to stuff like Garcia-Matthysse or Ponce De Leon-Mares as "gifts" to dedicated fans, because there's really no serious upside, business-wise, to putting those fights on a PPV undercard. Mayweather-Canelo would have sold the way it did without Garcia-Matthysse, and Pacquiao-Rios would have sold the way it did even if there were another good fight on the show.
Personally, I don't think the Pacquiao-Bradley II show is that bad. There should be some decent action there, even if nothing is particularly significant.