By Lou “Cinder” Block
Manny Pacquiao’s fame is vastly overrated. He is marketed as this crossover star by his promoter Bob Arum and HBO, but he isn’t famous in America. The majority of Pacquiao’s fans happen to be foreigners or immigrants of Filipino or Latino descent.
The average American doesn’t have a clue who Manny Pacquiao is, if you ask them which sports star has the nickname “The Pacman”, the majority of people will answer controversial NFL player Adam “Pacman” Jones does.
If Pacquiao was truly a crossover star who was popular in the United States and Canada, shouldn’t his pay-per-view numbers be well over 2 million buys per fight? Manny might be big with the couple million Filipino fans living in the States and the Mexican boxing fans who enjoy him, but he hasn’t touched other demographics like the Caucasian or African American markets.
The UFC’s Brock Lesnar is more popular and does higher pay-per-view buy numbers than Manny Pacquiao, the only difference is Manny Pacquiao is overpaid and Brock Lesnar is grossly underpaid.
The real cash cow in boxing and combat sports is none other than Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr., the man has the name, the looks, the charisma to sell a fight and the skills that pay the bills to back up his cocky talk.
People can talk crap about how Floyd is boring and Manny Pacquiao is way more exciting than Floyd, but if that were the case, how come more people order Floyd’s fights than Manny’s?
The numbers don’t lie. Floyd has consistently done over or near a million pay-per-view buys since he fought Oscar De La Hoya — a fight that holds the all time pay-per-view buy record with 2.4 million buys.
Manny Pacquiao won the BWAA fighter of the decade award, but Floyd Mayweather won the ESPN ESPY for fighter of the year — beating Manny Pacquiao in fan votes. That should show you that Manny doesn’t have the fans or the popularity Mayweather does.
This upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito fight isn’t going to do good numbers. I don’t think it will go past 600,000 pay-per-view buys and the HBO 24/7 Pacquiao/Margarito series hasn’t drawn any buzz from casual fans. Real boxing fans are already calling for a boycott for this fight just like Pacquiao’s last two fights against Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey.
If Pacquiao is so loved and watched by millions because of his exciting fan friendly style, how come people keep boycotting his fights and are telling people on YouTube and boxing message boards not to order Pacquiao’s fights? How come his fight with Margarito at Dallas Cowboys stadium on November 13 has only sold 27,000 tickets, when Bob Arum predicted 70,000 will attend and the fight is only a couple of days away?
You would think a fighter who was as exciting as Pacquiao and supposedly loved by many wouldn’t have people calling to boycott his fights. You never see videos on YouTube or protests by boxing fans to boycott Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights, if anything the majority of negative videos being made are aimed at Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd Mayweather has proven he is the biggest pay-per-view attraction today. Floyd is more recognizable and more watched than Manny Pacquiao. Floyd also has plenty of fans who follow him on Twitter and Facebook, who come from all walks of life and different ethnic backgrounds including a large female fanbase and you never see anyone calling to boycott his fights. Compare that to Manny Pacquiao’s fanbase, which is 90 percent Filipino and no female fanbase. A true crossover star has fans from all backgrounds, and Manny Pacquiao just doesn’t have that, but Floyd Mayweather does.
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