Manny Pacquiao can still draw a pay-per-view audience.
Pacquiao's dominant unanimous decision victory over Adrien Broner to retain his secondary welterweight world title for the first time Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas generated a robust 400,000 buys on Showtime PPV, a source with knowledge of the numbers told ESPN on Wednesday. The network and promoters have no plans to make a public announcement of the figures.
With around 400,000 units sold, that means Pacquiao-Broner grossed approximately $30 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue. The official gate for the announced crowd of 13,025 has not been made official yet by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but it will be in the seven figures.
For a comparison, the previous major boxing pay-per-view, the draw between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in their heavyweight world title fight on Dec. 1, generated about 325,000 buys on Showtime PPV.
Pacquiao-Broner also faced stiff competition for the attention of combat sports fans, as it aired on the same night that UFC made its debut on ESPN and ESPN+. Showtime will replay Pacquiao-Broner on Saturday beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Pacquiao, the 40-year-old Filipino legend, was fighting in the United States and on pay-per-view for the first time since November 2016, when he rolled to a unanimous decision against Jessie Vargas to win a welterweight belt at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Top Rank, Pacquiao's former promoter, put that fight on as an independent pay-per-view and it did about 300,000 buys -- though Broner is a far more well-known fighter than Vargas.
Following the fight with Vargas, Pacquiao, whose pay-per-views in his heyday regularly sold more than 1 million units, had his next two fights outside the U.S. and away from pay-per-view: a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn in Horn's hometown of Brisbane, Australia, that aired live on ESPN in July 2017, followed by a seventh-round knockout of Lucas Matthysse this past July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that streamed live on ESPN+.
Pacquiao, whose world titles in eight weight classes stands as the all-time record, was one-half of the biggest-selling pay-per-view in history, the astounding 4.6 million that were sold for his mega fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2015, a fight Pacquiao lost by clear decision.
With the win over Broner, who was a heavy underdog Saturday, there is a possibility of a rematch with Mayweather later this year if Mayweather elects to end his retirement. He talked to Pacquiao about coming out of retirement for the fight this past September and was ringside Saturday night in his capacity as one of the promoters of the card.
The fight was the first on pay-per-view for Broner, a former four-division world titlist.