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Boxing archrivals Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may not have shared a ring but they have been engaging the other in a constant strings of battles outside the squared circle. Mayweather, at a time the consensus pound-for-pound best fighter in the planet, found himself replaced by Pacquiao when the former went on his first hiatus after his 10-round TKO victory over then undefeated Ricky Hatton of England in December 2007.

Mayweather’s sudden retirement from the sport scuttled the planned rematch with Oscar dela Hoya in 2008, who lost to Mayweather via split decision in May 2007. Alone and without an opponent, Dela Hoya picked Pacquiao as a replacement fighter in a fight where Pacquiao. The fight took place on December 2008, with Pacquiao virtually ending Dela Hoya’s career inside eight brutal and punishing rounds.

The win further stamped Pacquiao’s legitimacy as the pound-for-pound best boxer, a mythical diadem Mayweather held a year earlier. Since then, Mayweather and his cohorts attacked Pacquiao, with the American claiming he is the boxing’s cash cow and the PPV-buys generator.

Although the argument may hold some water, Pacquiao held his own status as a legit PPV attraction, figuring in a number of events that generated more than a million buys. But Pacquiao’s upcoming WBO welterweight title clash with Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12th, 2011, may finally give Pacquiao the avenue to beat Mayweather in the PPV numbers arena and finally gain the upper hand in future negotiations, should both camps come together at the discussion table again.

Pacquiao versus Mayweather fan art

While there have been announcements that the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz WBC welterweight scrap reached 1.25 million PPV buys, many boxing observers believe that the figures are bloated. Why, wonders one boxing scribe, did the promoters took more than a month to release the PPV figures for the said match?

In an article by Ring Magazine, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions “officially” announced that Mayweather-Ortiz did well as far as PPV buys are concerned. However, a very meticulous observation from Don Donatello of Now Boxing will get every casual and hardcore boxing fans to conjure some second thoughts on the matter. Not only did it took the promoters more than six weeks to come up with the number, no HBO official has never made any “official” (pun intended) statement regarding the Mayweather-Ortiz numbers.

As Donatello puts it, “when HBO performs well in their boxing PPV event, an HBO official will have announced their PPV takes through the biggest sporting news media, ESPN.”

The Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy is selling like pancakes. Tickets almost sold out on the first day alone, which is a clear indication how much attention this fight is getting. A total of 17,000 fight fans are expected to fill in the MGM Grand on fight night. As for the PPV sales, the projected number is around 1.4 million buys. Pacquiao’s most recent event, a runaround fiasco versus former boxing superstar and champion Shane Mosley last May, garnered 1.3 million PPV buys, Pacquiao’s biggest since his fight with Dela Hoya.

Unless HBO makes an official statement that coincides with Golden Boy Promotions’ and Mayweather Promotions’ claims of reaching 1.25million PPVs, then there is no wonder why Mayweather, or his CEO Leonard Ellerbe in particular, finally wants a piece with the “little fella”.

Or so they say.

The boxing world has lost one of its greatest figures. Filipino Boxing Journal is one with the boxing community as we mourn the passing of Smokin’ Joe Frazier (1944-2011). May his soul rest in peace and God’s perpetual light shine upon him.

Photo credits: 3 Stars & The Sun Blog

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.