Economy factor in Pacquiao-Hatton PPV matchup
What will be the result May 2, when the junior welterweights clash for the 140-pound championship before 17,000-plus at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena? “Anything over 800,000 buys in the United States will be (a success),” says Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank Inc., which promotes Pacquiao. “It looks like it will do as many or more than De La Hoya-Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao-Hatton is the first major PPV bout of the year and a likely candidate for fight of the year. Still, the economy has led to prices being scaled back. The high-end arena tickets are going for $1,000, $500 less than they were for Pacquiao’s eight-round stoppage of De La Hoya. The PPV telecast is selling for $50, $5 less.
Pacquiao (48-3-2, 36 KOs), a Filipino, has a loyal following. Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs), from Manchester, England, has one, too.
“The Battle of East and West” will air around 3 a.m. there, but that shouldn’t have a negative impact. Arum expects about 1 million buys at $23 to $24.
Said Mark Taffet, senior vice president of HBO PPV: “There is tremendous pent-up consumer demand for a big fight. I believe that will play a role in the performance of Pacquiao-Hatton.”
Saturday, the third episode of Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7, a behind-the-scenes look at the fight, airs on HBO at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT.