PACQUIAO-RIOS: TESTING THE CHINESE MARKET
By Maloney L. Samaco
Sun, 22 Sep 2013
Coming off from respective losses, Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios faced each other against all odds come November 24 (November 23 US time) in Macao, China. Pacquiao suffered two successive setbacks to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez and Rios endured his first defeat at the hands of Mike Alvarado.
Two boxers who have a dip in their careers clash in a relatively new entertainment and sports venue, Macao in China, the new Las Vegas of Asia. Another hitch is that there are no world titles contested between the two protagonists.
The Cotai reclaimed land area is now transformed into the "Las Vegas Strip of the East". The Venetian, the venue of the fight, is the most famous with its Venice-styled shopping mall with rivers running through, and is also currently the largest casino in the world.
Pacquiao is slated to earn $18 million and hopes to be back at stardom of the boxing globe. Rios is guaranteed $3 million in this fight, his highest purse so far as a pro. But this is Rios' first fight as a welterweight as he always fought as a junior welterweight. This will also be his first pay-per-view appearance so far.
"Big time boxing is being firmly established in China with a Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios showdown at The Venetian Macao," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. "It is fitting that Asia's most famous fighter will box in a big event in Macao. All fight fans are looking forward to an exciting bout between Manny against super fan-friendly Brandon Rios with his exciting, never quit style."
“The Clash in Cotai, as we’ve dubbed this historic matchup, is going to be spectacular,” said Edward Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sands China Ltd., the owner of The Venetian. “It’s the latest example of the edge-of-your seat, high-octane event that Sands China is known for. It’s all part of our multi-tiered entertainment strategy of bringing the world’s biggest superstars of sport to Macao to display their skills at these must-see events.”
But this fall saw several pay-per-view boxing events which started on September 14 with Golden Boy's "The One" breaking PPV record sales with Floyd Mayweather beating Canelo Alvarez and a thriller in Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Mattyhsse.
On October 12, Top Rank, will feature the Juan Manuel Marquez-Timothy Bradley title fight on PPV and some boxing experts believed it could diminish the sales of Pacquiao-Rios since the two fights are very close to each other.
Historically, Americans snubbed PPV fights with are held outside the United States. Pacquiao does not want to sacrifice large tax cuts in the US and preferred tax-friendly Macao instead. Arum had tried promoting Chinese Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming twice in Macao and the casino revenues increased on fight night.
The bout will be held at 10:00 AM so that it will be shown at prime time in US television. And some American fans are complaining that the price of PPV is ten times the cost in China.
The Chinese pay-per-view market is still untested and the Clash in Cotai is an acid test on how the world's biggest population accept professional boxing as an alternative for martial arts.
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