Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley for the second time in their third fight on April 9th at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Arum, the event appears to have generated 400,000-500,000 PPV buys, which would mean the promotion lost money.
Pacquiao was paid a guaranteed $20 million and Bradley was guaranteed $4 million.
From the ESPN article Arum said:
“It will be somewhere between those numbers, 400,000 and 500,000. It’s all being added up, but it will be closer to 400,000 than 500,000. Terrible.”
“Certainly the pushback from Manny’s gay remarks killed us. It hurt us a lot. But I think it was also less a reaction to the match than a reaction to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. It was a reaction like Mayweather got. Mayweather also got punished [by consumers].”
The fight against Bradley is supposedly Pacquiao’s last fight in the sport.
Arum believes that the main factor in the financial troubles was the homophobic and ignorant comments Manny Pacquiao made. The comments did lose Pacquiao multiple sponsors, including Nike. It also appeared that HBO slowed down all of the promotional efforts as a result of the comments.
However, Arum is underestimating how stale this fight was to fight fans. Any fight fan who had watched the first two fights saw Manny Pacquiao being the clear winner, despite the judges giving Bradley the decision win in their first match. That means that core fight fans were not very enthusiastic about this fight and in this fight the core fan base had to carry the fight to financial success. Casual sports fans were going to be out on this fight given Pacquiao’s poor performance against Mayweather, his post-fight comment on his shoulder that was largely considered an excuse from a sore loser, and the homophobic comments.
Arum also points out that Mayweather only received 400,000-500,000 PPV buys. I would argue that result was somewhat expected given the opponent and the post-super fight climate. Lastly, many in the industry believe that Arum is intentionally overstating the actual PPV purchases.