By Chris LaBate
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum advised the New York Times that last Saturday's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley, based on early projections, generated at least 1.2 million purchases on pay-per-view. Arum would not be surprised if the number exceeds into the realm of 1.4 or 1.5 million. The exact buyrate figure should be received by the end of the week, Arum told the paper. Pacquiao won a twelve round decision over Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
If the buyrate remains at 1.2 million, there will be a heavy debate over whether or not the fight was a promotional success. On one hand, critics will point to the heavy involvement of network television with CBS airing the 360 reality series to promote the bout, and how the buyrate was no bigger than Pacquiao's last pay-per-view outing, with Antonio Margarito in November. On the other hand, others will point to Pacquiao leaving the HBO stable to make his Showtime pay-per-view debut, against an opponent who was 1-1-1 in his last three fights, and who most regarded as a huge underdog - and he still generated a very profitable pay-per-view figure.
Pacquiao's return is tentative for November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Juan Manuel Marquez as the likely opponent. As reported earlier on BoxingScene.com, Marquez accepted a revised offer to face Pacquiao on the November date at a catch-weight of 144-pounds. Golden Boy Promotions has the option to match Top Rank's offer.