Arum the optimist

Updated: July 17, 2008, 10:57 AM ET
By Dan Rafael
Your weekly random thoughts …

• Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told me the other day the Manny Pacquiao-David Diaz lightweight title bout did between 225,000 and 250,000 buys on HBO PPV. To put it nicely, Arum is ever the optimist. I asked industry folks who are far less prone to exaggeration than Arum and was told that the fight will be lucky to crack 200,000. Lucky. It just goes to show you that no matter how great Pacquiao is, without a known foil he can't do serious business on his own.

Pacquiao's pay-per-view fights with more established stars Erik Morales (a trilogy), Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera all did excellent business. But Diaz, as likeable as he is, was a huge underdog and had never been on HBO before being put into a major pay-per-view main event. Despite tireless efforts promoting the fight, doing interviews and making public appearances, Diaz was essentially an unknown, even though he held a title.