HBO, the historical provider of Manny Pacquiao’s PPV events, has declined to distribute Pacquiao-Vargas.
According to Dan Rafeal at ESPN, HBO didn’t want to be involved, “…because it did not want to have two pay-per-view events in the same billing cycle and it is already committed to the Nov. 19 HBO PPV fight between unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.”
Manny Pacquiao had a short retirement after defeating Timothy Bradley in their trilogy fight, which had disappointing PPV numbers. The overwhelming majority of boxing fans believe that Pacquiao also won the first matchup between the two, and when paired with Pacquiao’s homophobic remarks, meant there was very little interest in the fight.
Top Rank will be distributing the fight itself, which means that the company also has to pay for all the marketing efforts. The fight will also be without the famous HBO 24/7 series that has been viewed as essential for high-selling PPV events.
If there was any indication that there would be demand for this fight I think it would have been more likely that HBO would help promote and distribute Pacquiao-Vargas. The relationship between HBO and former cash cow Manny Pacquiao is uncertain.
[h/t Dan Rafael at ESPN]