By Erwin Lastimosa
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The Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Pay-Per-View event is vast approaching, and the buzz for this fight is almost non-existent.
Pacquiao vs. Mayweather negotiations got significant media coverage and was a top search on Yahoo for quite sometime before the fight officially died over random Olympic steroid testing.
So, Bob Arum put together a last minute back up plan after the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight fell through. “The Event” on March 13, 2010 on HBO PPV against fellow Top Rank promotions stablemate, Joshua Clottey, was Bob Arum’s answer.
Some say this fight is not worthy of Pay-Per-View and should be on regular HBO World Championship Boxing instead, I agree with this notion.
This feels like when Manny fought David Diaz for the WBC lightweight title on HBO Pay-Per-View, fans wanted to see Pacquiao fight Nate Campbell and felt David Diaz was a paper champion as well as a meaningless fight for Pacquiao.
The PPV numbers spoke volumes, the fight with Diaz did something in the 200,000 buy range, numbers that were way below Bob Arum’s expectations of doing more than 400,000 buys.
The Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight doesn’t seem to be pushed all that much from a marketing stand point. Having no HBO boxing Pacquiao/Clottey 24/7, will hurt the number of buys, I believe.
What makes matters worse is having the fight in the giant 100,000 seat Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, Bob Arum and Jerry Jones will adjust the seating for the event to accommodate a smaller audience of 40,000 fans.
Only a few weeks away, the fight still hasn’t sold out yet, and plenty of tickets are available at reasonable prices, the cheapest ticket being $50 and the most expensive at $700.
HBO 24/7 is the greatest marketing tool for boxing matches. The series has helped Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. turn into household names by increasing the viewing audiences interest through weekly episode build ups leading up to the fight.
Instead of 24/7, Pacquiao vs. Clottey will have a 30-minute countdown show to air on March 6 one week before the actual fight, and rerun will show several times after, but is this enough publicity to help build up the fight and guarantee good PPV numbers?
Maybe the build up for this fight will get stronger as the fight nears, but if the buzz is not there, the fight could do poorly at the box office and hurt Pacquiao’s chances at a 50-50 purse split with Mayweather, should Pacquiao get by Clottey.
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Erwin Lastimosa is a long time boxing fan and enjoys discussion boxing with his peers.