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UPDATED: Pacquiao/Vargas does lowest PPV buys in 8 years; Arum ‘pleased’

Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas looks to have done 300,000 buys or less, Pacquiao’s lowest in years. So why is Bob Arum happy?

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Manny Pacquiao Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

PPV buyrate estimates are in for Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas and, as expected, the numbers are low. In an interview with Ring TV, Top Rank head Bob Arum says the numbers are “a little over 300[thousand]” also noting that they are “still coming in.”

If this number holds, it would make it the least watched Pacquiao fight since his 2008 clash with David Diaz. Pacquiao would follow that fight up with his superstar making win over Oscar De La Hoya, and every fight since then has been above 400,000 with seven of the fights topping one million.

Prior to the Vargas fight, Arum was, in his own words “off the charts optimistic” saying the fight would do “very, very big pay per view numbers.”

Because of the lack of partnership with HBO for this fight, Top Rank was left to promote the fight on their own, and their promotion was decidedly lacking, with a planned preview video series never materializing, and very little in the way of advance hype. Given those factors, I predicted a buyrate of 300,000, noting that Top Rank would be lucky to come in with anything above that (More: “Manny Pacquiao fights next weekend and no one cares).

So in the end, with the extremely low bar set for this fight and the pre-fight expectations, perhaps 300,000 does not sound so bad. But that low bar and lack of expectation should not hide the obvious fact that, by any reasonable Pacquiao-centric measurement, this fight was a bomb. As expected.

UPDATE: According to Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer, the number is closer to 215,000. Ouch.

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