Pacquiao vs. Algieri PPV Buys: 750-950K?

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Tonight, Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) takes on Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) in Macau China live on HBO pay-per-view (PPV).

For a fight featuring arguably the 2nd biggest draw in boxing, Pacquiao vs Algieri had little to no buzz this week.

Neither fighter has engaged in excessive trash-talking leading up to the fight and there has been more talk of a possible Floyd Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight than of tonight's showcase. For those reasons, many expect PPV numbers for this fight to be embarrassing low.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum stated recently that Pacquiao vs. Algieri could generate between 750K to 950K PPV buys.

Does Mr. Arum really believe that?

Only once in his last four fights has Pacquiao comfortably generated over 900K PPV buys (Pacquiao vs arch rival Juan Manuel Marquez IV Dec 2012). His two title fights with the Timothy Bradley garnered 890K and 800K, respectively, and Bradley is a far more established fighter than Algieri.

Below are PPV numbers for Pacquiao's last four fights:

June 9, 2012
Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley

December 8, 2012
Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez IV

November 24, 2013
Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios

April 12, 2014
Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II

If the Pacquiao vs Algieri PPV numbers even come close to Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios (Nov 2013), Top Rank should consider it a triumph because that fight had more intrigue than tonight's bout. For the Rios fight, there was speculation on how Pacquiao would perform following his devastating knockout loss to Marquez.

Tonight's fight with Algieri seems like a showcase as well with bigger fights looming for Pacquiao.

Algieri has a considerable height and reach advantage which may give Pacquiao a few problems early. But, Algieri's punches couldn't crack eggs and he doesn't have the experience to be able to handle a fighter as skilled as Pacquiao.

Algieri's career highlight reel consists of only one fight - his disputed split decision win against Ruslan Provodnikov.

Thirteen years ago Pacquiao was in a similar position to Algieri today and the former shocked the world by defeating Lehlohonolo Ledwaba in a massive upset. And while producers for HBO 24/7 have tried to hype the fight using that theme, fans are not buying into it.

It's great that Algieri has a chance to make a name for himself and pull off a major upset but this fight should be on regular HBO not HBO PPV.

It will be surprising if Pacquiao vs Algieri PPV buys generate over 350K.

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