The 37 year-old makes his return from a brief retirement when challenging welterweight world champion and Las Vegas-native Jessie Vargas on November 5 but will not feature on his usual network.
Reports surfaced on Wednesday that HBO had opted out of televising Pacquiao v Vargas, and when contacted by WBN a short time later, Koncz exclusively said the following: “HBO, due to circumstances, will not distribute the November 5th bout it’s plain and simple,” he said.
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum will now be seeking an alternate deal for the eight-weight world champion who could turn to HBO rivals Showtime’s pay-per-view platform in a bid to maximise revenue for the comeback.
Showtime recently lost their main star in Floyd Mayweather Jr. to retirement and did work with Pacquiao in May 2015 when the pound for pound star lost out to ‘Money’ in the most lucrative fight of all time.
HBO’s refusal is certainly a blow to Pacquiao’s future marketability as it would certainly not have been the case should Terence Crawford have been chosen as the opponent instead of Vargas.
Crawford was the fans choice and more likely HBO’s number one pick, leaving Arum with an uphill battle to promote Pacquiao v Vargas in the same manner.
The Vargas fight, as with Pacquiao v Timothy Bradley III, holds similar standing to Mayweather’s September clash with Andre Berto, which only did an estimated 400-500k buys and was the American’s lowest showing in a decade.