By Esteban Garduno: The March 13th so-called mega fight between World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO’s) and Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KO’s) has failed to live up to expectations set out by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, bringing in only 700,000 pay-per-view buys, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Oh, this is quite sad and disappointing that the fight that Arum said would do as well as the 1.25 million PPV buys of the Miguel Cotto vs. Pacquiao bout would come up so short of that mark, missing it by quite a bit.
The fight generated $35.3 million in domestic television revenue, which is a good number given that Pacquiao was matched against a fighter that mostly only hardcore fans had ever heard of before. But these are not the numbers that Arum was talking about this fight bringing in. I can’t say I’m surprised. In picking Clottey, a Top Rank fighter with little notoriety, they were getting someone who the boxing fans just weren’t knowledgeable about.
When you add in the fact that Clottey was coming into the March 13th fight with Pacquiao having lost his last fight against Cotto, it didn’t exactly give one a huge interest in seeing this fight. Arum might have been better off lighting a fire under Pacquiao and trying to do his best to negotiate a deal with Floyd Mayweather Jr. rather than waste time fighting Clottey.
As it was, Clottey fought a disappointing fight, mostly covering up all night long and not throwing very many punches. When Clottey did throw punches, though, he had Pacquiao looking like a bobble head doll the way he was snapping Pacquiao’s head back and forth and up and down with uppercuts. Clottey was very accurate with his right hand and seemed not to be able to miss with it when he would throw punches. For Pacquiao’s part, he just threw a lot of punches, seeming to aim that at Clottey’s gloves for some reason. It was a very strange fight and painfully boring.
In comparison to this fight, here are Pacquiao’s pay-per-view numbers for some of his previous:
Pacquiao-Cotto: 1.25 million pay per view buys
Pacquiao-De La Hoya: 1.25 million pay per view buys
Pacquiao-Hatton: 830,000 pay per view buys
As you can see, it takes a good opponent to be matched against Pacquiao for him to get huge pay per view numbers. You can’t do it on the cheap and just throw in some guy that boxing fans have never heard of to get the huge numbers. I can’t believe that Clottey was put in with Pacquiao. They said that Clottey was supposed to be someone that was going to give Pacquiao a more exciting fight than Floyd Mayweather, someone more fan-pleasing.
But I don’t know what they’re talking about, because every fight I’d seen of Clottey in the past, he mostly just covered up after the 6th round, which is when he would fade badly. He hadn’t fought more than a handful of top tier fighters during his career, losing to half of them. On paper, it looked like a bad opponent going into the fight, and it sure proved to be a bad one in terms of being an exciting opponent and the numbers aren’t quite what they thought it would be.
I’m sure they’ll pain this as fight as a major PPV success, but I personally think it was a disappointment. It not only didn’t bring in the big numbers that many people thought it would be, but it didn’t make Pacquiao look all that good. I can’t erase the image of Pacquiao getting his head snapped upwards every time Clottey would nail him with a big uppercut. And all those wasted punches that Pacquiao threw on Clottey’s gloves, as if he was aiming his punches there for some reason.