- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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The Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. welterweight title rematch on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas generated between 750,000 and 800,000 pay-per-view buys, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com.
That is a significant decline from what Pacquiao-Bradley I generated when Bradley received a heavily disputed split decision that led to worldwide outrage in June 2012. That fight generated 890,000 pay-per-view buys and many expected the rematch to at least equal the first fight.
"We're between 750,000 and 800,000. Sure, it's a disappointment," Arum said.
HBO PPV did not put out a formal release of the numbers like it often does, but it confirmed to ESPN.com that Arum's disclosure was on the mark. The fight generated approximately $49 million in gross pay-per-view revenue.
After Pacquiao's controversial loss to Bradley, he got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round of their action-packed fourth showdown in December 2012, a fight that drew about 1 million pay-per-view buys.
After a year off, Pacquiao returned to face Brandon Rios in Macau, China in a November fight that drew about 475,000 buys. But because Pacquiao was not facing an elite opponent and the fight was overseas -- and therefore did not have nearly the media coverage of a fight in the United States -- it was not expected to do big numbers.
There were higher expectations for Pacquiao-Bradley II, which turned out to be an exciting fight that Pacquiao won by clear unanimous decision to regain the belt he lost to Bradley in the first fight.
"I'm telling you, it is what it is. The numbers are the numbers," said Arum, who said he would like to bring Pacquiao back to Macau for his next fight, like this fall. "Having (future Pacquiao) fights in Macau makes so much sense because we can do huge site fees and we want to launch pay-per-view in China. We couldn't get it up and running for the Rios fight but we will, and then, between that and the site fee, we won't be so reliant on the pay-per-view in the United States."
Arum said he believed the reason that Pacquiao-Bradley II did not do as well as he had hoped was because of the lack of a Hispanic opponent.
"The absence of Mexican or Hispanic opponent hurt," Arum said. "If you had a challenger like, for example, Marquez, the fight would do over a million buys. Tim is a great fighter but he's not Hispanic and he we tried everything to energize the black community without that much success. But we all made money on the fight. We did OK."
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs), whose promotional contract with Top Rank expires at the end of the year and is negotiating an extension, was guaranteed $20 million for the fight. Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs) was guaranteed $6 million.