Pacquiao Watch: Floyd’s days are numberedBy Edwin Espejo Oct 26, 2011 8:21AM UTC
The Pay Per View horizon could drastically change next year with Floyd Mayweather Jr no longer the preferred staple and crown jewel of HBO.
For a long time, since Oscar de la Hoya was forced into retirement, Floyd has commanded the prime dates of the HBO PPV schedule, much to the chagrin of Bob Arum’s Top Rank who once accused the cable network of being a stooge of rival Golden Boy Promotion, which handles Mayweather’s business side of boxing.
Mayweather’s last five fights, counting the one he had with de la Hoya, raked in an average of over one million PPVs each.
He clearly inherited the throne as PPV king from de la Hoya. Until rival Manny Pacquiao came along, that is.
Pacquiao’s last five fights also averaged more than one million PPVs, including the 1.25 million buys for his Oscar de la Hoya bout that he has since topped in fighting Shane Mosley (1.3 million buys).
Mayweather and Pacquiao are not separated by a huge distance in the PPV race but Manny is gaining momentum. If their last fights are the barometer, Pacquiao could dislodge Mayweather as the PPV master in boxing next year.
Mayweather’s controversial knockout win over Victor Ortiz reportedly just raked in over 1.1 million. In contrast, Pacquiao recorded his highest PPV buys ever, at 1.3 million buys, against Mosley. Before that, he generated 1.25 million buys against Antonio Margarito.
Cracks are also showing inside HBO who lost Pacquiao to rival Showtime (Pacquiao vs Mosley) in May this year. It led to the resignation of its President Ross Greenburg a couple of months after the fight.
HBO moved heaven and earth to win the bidding war for the right to air Pacquiao’s third fight versus arch nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez next month.
Both HBO and Top Rank are hoping the third installment of the Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy will top the 1.3 million mark again for Pacquiao.
With Floyd again withdrawing into his shell and making no firm commitment to fight next year, the Filipino Congressman is guaranteeing fight fans they will have more Pacquiao blockbuster fights next year – with or without Mayweather.
This could influence the programming and priority of HBO and tilt them in favor of Pacquiao, if it has not yet.
That means offering prime dates to the Filipino boxing hero and pushing guaranteed fight purses for Pacquiao into unprecedented figures.
While Mayweather will continue to be on the HBO radar, it is obvious that the American’s bullying days with the cable network are over.
This could weigh on the future of Mayweather as a marquee fighter.
He could be offended and may switch channels. He could opt to fight Pacquiao to prove he is king of the ring and of the cash register. Or he could choose to retire to avoid further humiliation, humiliated as he is now.
Clearly, Floyd’s boxing career has seen better days.