By Jake Donovan
Manny Pacquiao still boasts the ability to outperform most of the best welterweights in the ring and outdraw most other boxers at the box office.
It still remains to be seen if he can recapture past glory in or out of the ring.
Pacquiao’s January 19th 12-round landslide win over former four-division titlist Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas produced a live gate of just over $6 million from 11,410 tickets sold according to data provided to BoxingScene.com from the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday.
The number of tickets sold along with 248 complimentary tickets officially issued fall short of the announced “sold-out” crowd of 13,025 in attendance, although that figure was never offered as the official paid attendance total.
News of the live gate comes on the heels of reports that the Showtime Pay-Per-View event sold in the vicinity of 400,000 units. The figure is Pacquiao’s best-selling PPV event since his May ’15 loss to Floyd Mayweather, which set the all-time mark at 4.6 million units sold. Prior to that, Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39KOs) hasn’t cracked the 400,000-buy mark since his title-reclaiming 12-round win over Timothy Bradley in their April ’14 rematch in Las Vegas.
While his ability to move a PPV event remains intact, producing a booming live gate remains another story.
Pacquiao remains third only to Mayweather and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez among athletes to produce the biggest live gates in Las Vegas both this decade and of all-time. However, the final pull from his most recent win is actually his second poorest performance at the live gate for a Las Vegas-based event in more than a decade, dating back to his June ’08 lightweight title-winning knockout over David Diaz at Mandalay Bay.
The $6,000,032 figure from January 19th is actually nearly double that of his last Vegas appearance, when he scored a landslide 12-round decision over Jessie Vargas in Nov. ’16. That bout sold more tickets (13,103, along with 724 complimentary tickets issued) but only produced a live gate of $3.019 million.
However, both the live gate and PPV units sold for his win over Broner falls short to Pacquiao’s rubber match win over Timothy Bradley in April ’16. The final leg of their trilogy also took place at the MGM Grand, producing a live gate of just over $6.4 million from 13,046 tickets sold.
Overall, Pacquiao has been involved in nine of the 35 best-selling events in the history of boxing in Las Vegas. Outside of the all-time best-selling event with Mayweather, his last entry on the list came in his April ’14 rematch win over Bradley.
Along with owning the top spot, Pacquiao’s lone other Top 10 entry came in a Dec. ’08 one-sided stoppage of Oscar de la Hoya in a performance that permanently transcended the Filipino southpaw from boxing star to renowned worldwide superstar.
More than a decade later, hints of his drawing power remain evident. Of course, better nights at the box office will be expected as his moves further along in his lucrative pact with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) with whom he signed late last year after having spent most of the 21st Century either promoted by or affiliated with Top Rank.
While he had a solid B-side box-office partner in Broner, there remains little to suggest that Pacquiao wouldn’t have done any better or worse at the box office with a lesser-known opponent.
Broner appeared in his first PPV headliner, while topping just his second Las Vegas-based boxing event. His lone other Las Vegas-based main event also resulted in an in-ring defeat, dropping a 12-round decision to Shawn Porter in a June ’15 NBC-televised affair in front of a heavily-papered crowd of 8,138. Other Las Vegas appearances came in supporting capacity to events headlined by Keith Thurman (March ’15) and Floyd Mayweather (May ’14).
As for Pacquiao, the January 19 bout was his first in the United States since his aforementioned Nov. ’16 win over Vargas.
In between came a pair of overseas fights, suffering a highly questionable 12-round loss to Jeff Horn in July ’17 his opponent’s Australia homeland, followed by a 7th round knockout of Lucas Matthysse last July in Malaysia.