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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

'Dream' 2008's richest; Pacquiao earns P548M

NEW YORK - Boxing and the economy may both be struggling, but Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao proved the biggest fights can still create a buzz.

Pacquiao's complete domination of De La Hoya last Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas generated about 1.25 million pay-per-view buys, according to numbers released by HBO on Wednesday. It's only the fourth time a non-heavyweight bout in the US reached at least one million, and De La Hoya has been involved in all of them.

The pay-per-view take generated about $70 million in revenue, HBO said, making it the most successful pay-per-view event in 2008.

Of that amount, HBO will get half the earnings and the other half will be split between Pacquiao and De La Hoya based on the estimated 30-70 split they had earlier agreed on. Pacquiao’s cut was pegged at least 32 percent.

That means Pacquiao will get an estimated gross amount worth $11.2 million or P548.8 million.

As stipulated in his contract, Pacquiao was guaranteed $11 million to fight De La Hoya. GMANews.TV learned that Pacquiao would only get the higher amount between the guaranteed clause and the PPV earnings, and not both.

"When it's all counted up, it will end up at 1.35 or 1.4 million [subscriptions]," Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank told’s Dan Rafael.

Rafael’s report noted that Pacquiao’s previous pay-per-view high was 405,000 buys registered in the Juan Manuel Marquez rematch last April.

De La Hoya owns the top four non-heavyweight pay-per-view earnings. Only his showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 (2.4 million buys) and a 1999 match versus Felix Trinidad (1.4 million) were higher than the weekend match.

"In this economy, our expectations were appropriately tempered," Mark Taffet, in-charge of HBO pay-per-view, also said on the ESPN report. “But 1.25 million buys shows tremendous support from boxing fans all across the country and reinforces the importance of continuing to present the biggest and best fights the sports has to offer."

The MGM Grand Garden was packed, with an announced attendance of just over 15,000.

Considered the top pound-for-pound boxer and a hero in his native Philippines, Pacquiao (48-3-2, 36 KOs) moved up two weight divisions to fight at welterweight. The one-sided bout was stopped after the eighth round when, with the fighter bruised and swollen, De La Hoya's corner threw in the towel. - AP, with GMANews.TV


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