IT was the best fight of the Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley trilogy. Unfortunately, it may go down as well as the least watched – pay-per-view hits wise – of the seething rivalry between the two boxers.
Early indications showed last week’s welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas could do no better than 500,000 buys, making it the lowest earning pay-per-view hits of the three Pacquiao-Bradley encounters.
Top Rank Promotions estimates the April 9 bout would be doing around 400,000 to 500,000 buys.
“It is what it is. It is what it is. That’s all I can say,” said Arum in an interview with RingTV.com.
The first two meetings between the Filipino legendary fighter and the American earned 800,000 pay-per-view buys, including 890,000 in their first ever encounter in June of 2012 which Bradley won behind a disputed 12-round split decision.
Arum initially projected the third encounter will earn around 700,000 buys.
But the figures didn’t turn out to be that way despite the bout becoming the most competitive Pacquiao and Bradley had been involved with. The 37-year-old native of General Santos City knocked down the American from Palm Springs, California twice to hack out a 12-round unanimous decision win.
The 85-year-old promoter Arum admitted Pacquiao’s controversial comments on same-sex marriage affected the promotion of the fight, which served as Pacman’s farewell performance in the ring.
The low turnout came almost a year after Pacquiao’s highly-anticipated clash against Floyd Mayweather Jr. drew in the most number of pay-per-view sales in boxing history with 4.4 million buys.
The numbers were also the lowest for a Pacquiao fight since 2014 when he beat American Chris Algieri in a dominant 12-round unanimous decision although the match was held outside of the U.S. at the Cotai Arena in Macau. The bout sold 400,000 pay-per-views.
Gate attendance during the Pacquiao-Bradley III, though, enjoyed moderate success as a crowd of 14,665 turned up at the MGM Grand.