Take it with a grain or a fist of salt and all that, but the current rumor going around the boxing world (from veteran matchmaker Rick Glaser) is that the November 22 HBO pay-per-view fight between Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri did around 300,000 buys, which would be a huge disappointment to say the least.
Wow, horrible, #Pacquiao PPV reputedly did just over 300,000 buys & its the lowest #Manny #PPV figure since becoming a super star. #boxing— Rick Glaser (@RickGlaser1) December 3, 2014
Again: it's rumored. There's been no official statement from Top Rank or HBO (nor should there be expected to be one if this number is even close to true), and there's been no report from ESPN or The RING or anyone like that. So take it for what it is, but it's a topic of discussion.
From where I sit, I wouldn't be shocked if this were the number, though. This fight had no real buzz in the build-up. Even "24/7" seemed to be all but ignored by most people. (The show was still good.) And it wasn't seen by very many as a competitive matchup. And Algieri, though he did his best to promote himself and the event, had almost no name value whatsoever.
Plus, PPV numbers are falling. Floyd Mayweather hasn't done a million buys for anything since 2012, except his 2013 fight with Canelo. Pacquiao hasn't done a million for anything but his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in late 2012. I think the proof is in the pudding: these guys need actual dance partners with their own fan bases and their own value now. The days of Mayweather and Pacquiao just dumping out big numbers on their name recognition alone are over.
And again, that's not to say that this is certainly the real number. But this fight didn't do big PPV business no matter what the real number is. I thought going in that it would struggle to get to 500K, or the 475K that Pacquiao-Rios did in late 2013. Without business-viable opposition, these fights are getting harder and harder to sell. People bought for years wanting to see something special, they rarely did, and once the fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao pretty much completely dried up as a possibility, people tuned out. Rising PPV price tags haven't helped. $70 for Pacquiao-Algieri was a steep ask.
There's a reason why Mayweather-Pacquiao is being at least somewhat seriously discussed again. That fight needs to happen. If they both want to make the big money and be in The Fight, then it's time. It was time a long time ago, but now it's really time.