By Charlie Knoxville
Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum doesn’t mess around when he feels he isn’t being treated fairly, and he showed his disappointment in HBO not choosing superstar Miguel Cotto for a March 12th date over Sergio Martinez by taking two of his star fighters, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao, who’ve drawn big numbers for HBO to rival premium cable network Showtime.
This is a huge blow to HBO boxing because Miguel Cotto gives the network good ratings every time he fights, and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is boxing’s biggest star and HBO’s biggest attraction other than Floyd Mayweather Jr. who doesn’t look all that interested in boxing anymore. I guess the network is banking on welterweight champion Andre Berto to somehow become an instant star overnight and bring in over 500,000 Pay-per-view buys in his first pay-per-view.
Don’t get me wrong, Andre Berto the undefeated WBC welterweight champion isn’t a bad fighter by any means, he just isn’t a superstar attraction yet.
Andre Berto is the most overpaid boxer in the game today. He hasn’t fought any tough challengers except Luis Collazo, and his fanbase is almost non-existent, superstars like a Miguel Cotto or Manny Pacquiao can fill up arenas, but Andre Berto get’s paid anywhere from 900,000 to 1 million dollars a fight while only drawing 900 people to an arena?
Cotto and Manny Pacquiao probably didn’t even get paid that much when they first became champions and they drew thousands of fans.
Bob Arum told Chris Mannix of SI.com that Andre Berto wanted $1.85 million of the $3 million HBO offered for a Miguel Cotto vs. Andre Berto fight, that is a hefty asking price for a guy who couldn’t draw flies in his hometown.
Everytime HBO invests in a fighter like Andre Berto they are taking a loss financially, unless Berto is some type of tax write off or something, I don’t see the benefit the receive in paying him that much money. Berto has fought nothing but lower level fighters, and won’t even step in the ring with Kermit Cintron. Kermit Cintron has been calling out Andre Berto for a long time, but Berto would rather fight more journeyman to pad his record and collect a million dollar check in the process. Maybe Andre Berto proves me wrong and sells over 500,000 buys in his first HBO PPV, but until then he isn’t a draw.
How could HBO let go of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto? Like the saying goes one man’s loss is another man’s treasure, and Showtime will surely treasure Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.
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