Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Saturday Night Fights — All The Buzz Is Around Pacquiao and Marquez
By Joshua Molina
The mainstream sports media are talking a lot about a big fight this weekend, but it’s not the UFC on FOX 5 card. No, the big fight this weekend is the epic Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez IV battle. (Yes, this will be the fourth time they’ve fought).
And for some reason, the UFC and FOX have decided to broadcast the Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz fight on the same night.
For a fan, it’s logistically possible to watch both if you are on the West Coast.
The FOX show starts at 5 p.m. PST and will be over by 7 p.m. The Pacquiao vs. Marquez card starts at 6 p.m. PST on Pay Per View and Pacquiao won’t walk to the ring until about 8:30 p.m. PST.
But watching both will make for a long night. And the media can’t be in Seattle for UFC and Las Vegas for boxing, which means coverage of the UFC show both in print and electronic media will take a back seat.
The reality is that even though the UFC is widely popular as a niche sport on Pay Per View, it pales compared to the wide popularity of a big boxing match, fueled by a large Latino population that still “gets” boxing more than it “gets” MMA.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena is sold out with a $10.5 million gate. Tbe biggest gate in MMA history is $6.9 million, for UFC 148, featuring Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (thank you Chael Sonnen’s mouth).
Considering boxing promoter Bob Arum’s dislike of MMA, he probably is thrilled that his show is the talk of the media and not the FOX show.
The UFC has to figure out a way to not schedule shows the same night as big boxing cards. The UFC on FOX went head-to-head with boxing on May 5 (Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto) of this year – and the FOX ratings tanked.
The truth is nobody outside of MMA knows who Nate Diaz and Benson Henderson are.
Pacquiao, on the other hand is perhaps boxing’s pound-for-pound best, a man everybody agrees was robbed of his championship by Timothy Bradley in a highly disputed and controversial split decision loss.
He fights Marquez, a man who he has fought to a draw and beat twice by decision, in close fights.
The fight will be shown at bars and is undoubtedly going to draw one of the largest Pay Per View buy rates in history.
So some people might pull a marathon night and watch 5 hours of MMA and boxing, or maybe DVR the UFC on Fox show.
Boxing icon Mike Tyson, an MMA fan, told Full Contact Fighter earlier this week that he didn’t know about the FOX card and was planning to watch Pacquiao.
When informed of the show, he said he’d DVR it.
It’s all too bad because Diaz vs. Henderson will be a great fight between two outstanding fighters in their prime. Many people will miss it, though, because real people have real schedules and real livez and are going to choose the more well-known, well-branded show.
This weekend, the Pacquiao and Marquez fight is where all the buzz lives.