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Saturday, December 15, 2012
Marquez-Pacquiao another big draw

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- The fourth fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao generated about 1.15 million buys on HBO PPV, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Saturday.

Throughout the promotion for the fight, which took place last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, apparent fan fatigue resulting from their three previous bouts was evident, and after a bit of an admittedly slow promotion, Arum said that the pay-per-view projections were sluggish -- until the buys picked up significantly on the final day with a rush that he said helped push the fight into seven figures.

The final numbers were not in yet, but HBO did not dispute Arum's figure, which means the fight will generate in the neighborhood of $70 million in domestic television revenue.

"We are happy. It's a very big success," Arum said Saturday morning, hours before his Nonito Donaire-Jorge Arce junior featherweight title fight was to air on HBO (9:30 p.m. ET/PT), along with a replay of Marquez-Pacquiao IV. "The number of buys on the last day was disproportionately large. We were tracking a lot less until the last day and then we did a land rush of business. It built and built."

Marquez knocked Pacquiao out in stunning fashion, landing a flush right hand with one second left in the sixth round of their welterweight fight. Marquez trails the all-time series 2-1-1, meaning a fifth fight in 2013 is likely.

The pay-per-view figure was an improvement over Pacquiao's fight with Timothy Bradley Jr. in June, in which Pacquiao lost his welterweight title on a tremendously controversial split decision. That fight did about 900,000 buys.

Marquez-Pacquiao IV did just a shade less than the third fight between them in November 2011. That fight did 1.25 million buys. Their second fight in 2008 did 407,000 buys and their first fight in 2004 was live on HBO, not on pay-per-view.

Marquez-Pacquiao IV likely will wind up doing equal or more in overall TV revenue than the third fight, however, because the fourth fight cost $59.95 and the third fight was $54.95, not to mention a higher cost to buy it in high definition.

Pacquiao's biggest pay-per-views are his third fight with Marquez and a bout with Oscar De La Hoya at about 1.25 million each; fights with Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley at about 1.2 million each; and his Antonio Margarito bout and Marquez IV at about 1.15 million each.

Six of Pacquiao's last nine fights have topped 1 million buys. His last nine have done at least 710,000.

The fight is also the third time Marquez has been in a PPV that did more than 1 million buys -- Pacquiao III and IV plus his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2009, which sold 1.1 million units.

Marquez-Pacquiao IV was also a big hit at the gate, generating $10,888,890 in revenue from the sale of 15,403 tickets, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. There were no tickets unsold and 908 complimentary tickets were given away.

The fight generated the 13th biggest gate in Nevada history, in between the 1996 rematch between Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno ($10,673,700) and Mayweather-Shane Mosley in 2010 ($11,032,100).