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    Arum: Pacquiao-Rios sold at least 500,000 PPV buys
    By Dino Maragay Updated Thursday December 05, 2013 - 11:58am
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    Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, right, lands a right to Brandon Rios of the United States during their WBO international welterweight title fight Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Macau. Pacquiao defeated Rios by unanimous decision on Sunday to take the title and return to his accustomed winning ways after successive defeats. (AP Photo/ Vincent Yu)

    MANILA, Philippines - The pay-per-view purchase result for Manny Pacquiao's fight with Brandon Rios last Nov. 24 in Macau came in, and although this marks the Filipino's lowest output in years, his promoter isn't bothered.

    Top Rank chief Bob Arum, speaking to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, said around 500,000 households bought Pacquiao-Rios in the US - a figure he's already expecting.

    "The numbers are coming in like we expected," Arum told Rafael. "There was a little delay because of Thanksgiving, but it will be somewhere in the area of 500,000 buys."

    The ageless promoter insisted that the PPV buys are fine.

    "We ran all our numbers on something a little less than 500,000 but figuring we'd do around 500,000, and that's what we're going to wind up doing. It means 490,000 or 510,000, something like that," Arum said.

    The figure pales in comparison to Pacquiao's previous fights in the US. For instance, his bout with Antonio Margarito in November 2010 sold 1.15 million PPVs, while his last two meetings with rival Juan Manuel Marquez in November 2011 and December 2012 ended up being watched by 1.4 million and 1.15 million households, respectively.

    Even the fighting congressman's duel with the less-appealing Timothy Bradley in June last year sold more PPV units at 900,000.

    Pacquiao-Rios' PPV performance is likewise no match for Floyd Mayweather' massive fight with Saul Alvarez last September, which was bought by 2.2 million households.

    Arum, in his defense, pointed to geography as the main reason for Pacquiao-Rios' lackluster PPV result.

    "It's very, very difficult when you're not doing the fight in the United States," Arum said of Pacquiao's first fight in Asia since 2006 when he met Oscar Larios at the Araneta Coliseum.

    "But the deal we structured was to make up for that," the promoter added, referring to the deal he struck with the Venetian Macao, the site for the fight.

    While the PPV numbers might not be remarkable, the gate receipts are another story. A total of 13,101 fans trooped to the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao to witness the fight, which Top Rank earlier said translated to a sellout.

    Arum, for his part, stressed they did great.

    "The [pay-per-view] industry told us when you do an event that far away you can expect to do maybe 30 percent of what you would ordinarily do on the fight. We did a lot better. We performed better than that, so I think it was a big success. We had a huge audience on television in China," he explained.

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