Fight doesn't hit its target

Pugmire is a Times staff writer.

Oscar De La Hoya's fight against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday did not reach anywhere near the financial success of his 2007 cash bonanza against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Promoters had aimed for 1.5 million pay-per-view buys for De La Hoya-Pacquiao, but HBO announced Wednesday that the fight drew 1.25 million pay-per-view buys and $70 million in revenue. The live gate for the fight in Las Vegas was better than $17 million.

The lopsided Pacquiao victory -- De La Hoya retired before the ninth round started and may retire from boxing -- still stands as the third bestselling non-heavyweight pay-per-view bout in history.

Only De La Hoya-Mayweather (2.4 million pay-per-view buys) and De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad (1.4 million in 1999) topped Saturday's bout among non-heavyweight fights and only one other De La Hoya fight (versus Bernard Hopkins in 2004) met or exceeded 1 million buys.

"It was our hope that the fight would generate one million buys, but in this economy, it was only a hope, not our belief," HBO pay-per-view executive Mark Taffet said.

"This number could still go as far north as 1.5 million when all the numbers are counted," Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said. "I'm elated, because in this economy, we knew anything could happen. It could've been a disaster, but it turned into a great achievement, for Oscar, for Manny, for everybody."

Arum said in a Tuesday interview that he would have "broke even" at 600,000 pay-per-view buys.

De La Hoya was guaranteed $20 million for the fight, and Pacquiao and his promotion company were guaranteed $11 million. The pot of profits will be divided up in a 68%-32% split favoring De La Hoya, and Arum said Pacquiao may receive an additional $3.5 million to $5 million as a result.

"The pay-per-view business is no different than the automobile business, the hotel industry, the gaming business or advertising revenue at your newspaper. Pick any industry, they're all down," said Richard Schaefer, De La Hoya's promotion company business partner. "Considering how everything has dropped like crazy, I'm thrilled."

HBO will replay the Pacquiao-De La Hoya fight on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. Pacific time as part of its coverage of the heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Hasim Rahman.


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