Manny Pacquiao and HBO Boxing part waysWritten by Joseph Herron
After an impressive and lucrative run on HBO PPV, it seems that a Manny Pacquiao bout will not be receiving the special Lampley/Kellerman/Lederman/Jones treatment at ringside on November 5.
The special promotional tools, "24/7", "Countdown to" or "The Road to" segments, customarily attached with the investment and licensing fee of an HBO Sports big money guarantee won't be seen during the weeks leading into "Pacquiao vs. Vargas".
According to Manny's longtime promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc, the world renowned tandem will not be working with HBO Sports to promote their upcoming November special.
"We're going to be distributing (Pacquiao vs. Vargas) in other ways, but it will definitely not be distributed by HBO PPV," stated the Hall of Fame promoter to the Los Angeles Daily News.
The last time Pacman was featured on an alternative boxing platform was on May 7th, 2011, when a seemingly prime Manny Pacquiao defeated Sugar Shane Mosley in a lopsided points decision on Showtime PPV. Because the event performed extremely well, posting an impressive 1.3 million PPV buys, HBO came crawling back to Top Rank, Inc., giving not only the eight division world champion another multi-fight deal, but also granting several headlining dates to former TR superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as somewhat of an act of reparation to the Hall of Fame promoter.
But because Senator Pacquiao currently isn't the box office draw he was five years ago, Manny and Bob shouldn't expect to hear any apologetic phone calls from HBO executive Peter Nelson anytime soon. And for the reason that Home Box Office lost millions on Manny's most recent effort, a third bout with Tim Bradley back in April, finding a spot for the relatively unpopular "Pacquiao vs. Vargas" on the Showtime PPV calendar could be a hard sell as well.
So what is Manny and Bob going to do come November 5?
In the past, when the 84 year old veteran promoter couldn't get a big network guarantee for one of his fighters or events, Top Rank had no choice but to rely on big casino site fees, successful gate proceeds, and the broadcasting of independently staged PPV events. Back on April 14th, 2012, Top Rank PPV aired a double headliner from two different locations, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, featuring Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril in the US, and Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Serhiy Fedchenko in Mexico.
The twin bill also featured two young, future title holders at 140 pounds, Mike Alvarado vs. Mauricio Herrera, and once blossoming Filipino prospect Mercito Gesta. The price tag for the 2012 TR PPV event was a reasonable $44.95.
Although it's certain that HBO won't be involved with this premium endeavor, it hasn't been determined as of yet whether or not Showtime Sports will or won't be involved with "Pacquiao vs. Vargas" on November 5. If Stephen Espinoza, VP of Showtime Sports, does decide to pass on the upcoming TR event, fans should look forward to hearing the commentary style of Hall of Fame boxing announcer Colonel Bob Sheridan from ringside in just three short months.
In the immortal words of Bob Arum: "Top Rank is going to do what's best for Top Rank."
We'll see if Bob's strategy proves to be what's best for Manny Pacquiao.