(Photo by Erik Kabik)
The fight itself might have been boring, but that didn’t stop the world from watching Manny Pacquiao beat up “Sugar” Shane Mosley last month at the MGM Grand.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Thursday that Pacquiao’s lopsided victory generated more than 1.3 million pay-per-view buys — the best box office performance of the Filipino superstar’s career.
“We know we have a little over 1.3 million,” Arum told ESPN. “What we don’t have are some of the smaller cable systems. What I’m saying is I know we go to the bank counting a little over a 1.3 million. I know we’ll go up from there.”
Pacquiao’s previous pay-per-view best was when the eight-time champ generated 1.25 million buys for his victory over Oscar De La Hoya in December 2008. Arum said Pacquiao-Mosley generated more than $75 million in television revenue. The bout’s live gate total of $8,882,600, is the 14th-highest gross in Nevada history.
All of Pacquiao’s previous big pay-per-view bouts — four of his last six fights (Mosley, De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto) each topped 1 million buys — had been handled by HBO, but Arum chose Showtime and the exposure of sister network CBS for the bout with Mosley.
Arum said the network for Pacquiao’s Nov. 12 trilogy fight with Juan Manuel Marquez had not been set yet, although Showtime had the right of first negotiation.
Roach: Mayweather gearing up for Pacquiao
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach says he believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. is preparing for the long-awaited megafight with Pac-Man by returning to the ring for a showdown with Victor Ortiz in September.
“That’s the first thing that came to my mind,” Roach told the Associated Press.
Roach said he believes Mayweather chose the 24-year-old Ortiz, who is a southpaw like Pacquaio, because he thinks his high-volume punching style could help prepare him for a possible bout with the energetic Pacquaio.
“Some left-handers have given him trouble,” Roach said of Mayweather. “(Zab) Judah gave him trouble but couldn’t maintain the pace. Guys like Victor Ortiz, Manny Pacquiao, they can maintain that pace. And I do think the southpaw stance gives him trouble.”
A champ passes
Two-time world super featherweight champion Genaro Hernandez died Tuesday of a rare cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, which attacks muscle fibers. He was 45.
Hernandez — nicknamed Chicanito (little Mexican), was born in South Central Los Angeles — began his professional boxing career in 1984. He was WBA super featherweight champion from 1991-94, winning his first championship in 1991 with a ninth-round knockout of Daniel Londas in France. He was also WBC super featherweight champion from 1997-98.
Hernandez retired in 1998 with a 38-2 record and 13-2 mark in championship fights, losing only to Oscar De La Hoya in a lightweight bout in 1995 and to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a super featherweight match in 1998.
“He had been boxing from the age of 8 and dedicated his life to the sport,” Hernandez’ wife of 21-years, Liliana Hernandez, said in a telephone interview with the AP Wednesday night.
Tyson enters Hall of Fame
Mike Tyson, the former WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight champion, international icon, and cameo movie star from this summer’s Hangover Part II, will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this Sunday in Canastota, N.Y.
Tyson won 50 of his 58 career fights, including 44 wins by knockout.
Sugar Ray Leonard comes clean
The All-American champ paints an unflattering portrait of himself in his upcoming autobiography, claiming to be a philandering husband, drug abuser and even revealing that he was sexually abused by an unnamed boxing coach while training for the 1976 Olympics.
“I finally got to a point in my life where I wanted to be totally transparent with my family, my wife, my kids and let go of that burden of pain that I carried inside of my chest for so long,” Leonard said in an interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole about his new book, The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring.
In and Out
Juan Diaz was supposed to make his return to boxing after a year layoff in a 10-round lightweight bout at The Cosmopolitan on July 29.
But instead of headlining ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” event against David Torres, the 27-year-old from Houston has pulled out — choosing instead to attend law school.
But Vegas fight fans can instead watch Britain’s Amir Khan battle Zab Judah July 23 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Khan (25-1, 17 KOs) looks for his eighth victory in a row when he takes on Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) for his IBF championship.