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Pacquiao vs Vargas PPV buys: What history tells us

Joseph Herron Updated
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Eight division world titlist Manny Pacquiao confirmed on Wednesday that he would indeed be coming out of retirement to compete against Jessie Vargas for the WBO Welterweight Championship on November 5, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While campaigning for a Senate seat earlier this year, Senator Pacquiao promised his constituency that he would make his duties as public servant his number one priority. So, the Pacman will coordinate his entire training camp with head trainer Freddie Roach in the Philippines.

But Manny's longtime friend and adviser, Michael Koncz, did verify that Pacquiao would participate in a small promotional tour from September 8-10, beginning in Los Angeles, California.

The 37 year old prizefighter will return to Manila immediately following the three-day press tour to fulfill his duties as Senator.

Pacquiao's Hall of Fame promoter, Bob Arum, is hoping that the young WBO champion from Las Vegas can carry the entire promotion on his unproven shoulders. Because the November bout will be the first PPV headlining stint for the 27 year old Mexican-American, can Vargas successfully promote the event without the benefit of his future Hall of Fame counterpart?

History tells us the current WBO title holder has an uphill battle ahead of him.

While Manny was preparing in the Philippines for a fight against relative unknown Chris Algieri during the Fall of 2014, Top Rank and HBO leaned heavily on the young fighter from Huntington, New York, to be the primary spokesperson and ambassador for the PPV promotion.

Although Manny put forth a very entertaining effort in Macau, China, on November 23, 2014, the PPV only sold around 300K.

During the promotion of his most recent ring effort against Tim Bradley, which took place on April 9 of this year, the two-division world titlist from Indio, California became the centerpiece of the HBO/Top Rank promotion while Pacquiao was busy campaigning for a seat in the Philippines Senate. And although Bradley remains one of the most affable and talented prizefighters in the entire sport, the spring PPV event sold a disappointing 450K purchases.

When Manny does prepare for battle at the world renowned Wildcard Gym in Hollywood, California, and makes himself accessible to mainstream media outlets, his PPV numbers are considerably better.

Despite fighting just a month before Mayweather/Maidana I, Pacquiao vs. Bradley II in April of 2014, sold an impressive 890K PPV buys. Obviously his promotional campaign with Floyd Jr. during March and April of 2015 put up unprecedented numbers, selling around 4.6 million PPV units.

Can a relatively unpopular match-up like Pacquiao vs. Vargas sell without Manny actively promoting the event in the States?

Top Rank is hopeful that Jessie Vargas can prove to be a charismatic spokesperson for the PPV event over the next few months.


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