Pacquiao-Cotto tickets sell fast

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — NOT only is Manny Pacquiao the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter. He, too, is the sport’s undisputed top draw.

Only two days after Top Rank, Inc. began the sale of tickets for the Nov. 14 bout (Nov. 15 in Manila) between Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto at the 16,200 seat MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, tickets nearly went sold out with merely 1,000 remaining.

Bob Arum, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Top Rank and Pacquiao’s promoter, confirmed this yesterday, adding that 9,000 seats from tickets priced at $150, $350 and $500 have been been sold out.

Tickets priced at $750 and $1,000 are the only ones left to be sold, which may not last that long, either.

“We are looking forward to making Pacquiao vs. Cotto as one of the greatest box office and pay per view successes of all time,” said Arum upon learning the news of the tickets’ searing pace sales.

The fight that made history by being the highest grossing match ever was between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., whose bout in May 2007 drew a record 2.15 million in pay-per-buys — equivalent to $120 million — in addition to the $19.3 million the contest got in gate receipts.

The rate by which the tickets have been picked up by fans has significantly dwarfed the sales of another bout between former pound-for-pound king Mayweather, Jr. and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.

According to Philboxing.com, sales of the Mayweather-Marquez bout that will be held a month before Pacquiao were still ‘meager and slow.’ Their bout is set on Sept. 19, Mexico’s Independence Day.

Incidentally, the swift ticket sales will come as a huge slap, too, on Mayweather. Jr., who still considers himself as the sport’s top money-maker even if he had already retired two years ago before making his comeback against a fighter expected to give him a hard time through 12 rounds.

The Pacquiao-Cotto bout is billed as ‘Fire Power’, a bout between two fighters with massive following and with a very significant historic stake on the line for the Filipino ring idol.

Pacquiao, 30, will become the first fighter to win crowns in seven weight divisions if ever he beats the Puerto Rican even thought the fight has been pegged at a catch weight of 145 lbs. Cotto’s WBO welterweight belt is being at staked in the fight.

Although he has yet to enter the serious part of his training, Pacquiao has already been tagged as the favorite against Cotto, much of the confidence brought by the Filipino’s one-sided victories over De La Hoya and British Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton.

Cotto, on the other hand, struggled in his last fight against Joshua Clottey in his defense of his title last June, only winning by a split decision.

Pacquiao, who was met by Nonito Donaire, Jr. yesterday during a TV taping before the new WBA super-flyweight champion went through with his motorcade parade around the city of Manila, will also get the lion’s share of the purse. Pacquiao stands to receive 65 percent of the pot, with Cotto getting 35 percent.