For one of the rare times in recent years, the big fight won't be in Las Vegas, but Las Vegas is still going to have somewhat of a big fight feel next week.
The Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight will be held at CotaiArena in Macau, China, on Nov. 23 and will be broadcast at the same time as all HBO Pay-Per-View cards are: The broadcast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Nov. 23.
That's a bout that usually winds up in Las Vegas.
For those who love Las Vegas during a major fight week, Top Rank and Las Vegas Sands Corp. are partnering to make sure that the Fight Capital of the World has a big-fight feel, even though Pacquiao and Rios will fight on the other side of the world.
They are bringing 13 radio stations to Las Vegas (including Yahoo Sports Radio), as normally occurs during a boxing pay-per-view, and they'll be set up to broadcast live from the Palazza waterfall atrium. In addition, fight promoters are bringing Hall of Fame boxers George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, as well as future Hall of Famer Marco Antonio Barrera, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and active boxers Timothy Bradley and Mike Alvarado to Las Vegas.
The boxers will appear on the various radio shows on Thursday and Friday, as they would have had the fight been in Las Vegas, and they'll be made available to other media for interviews about the Pacquiao-Rios fight. And it's open for public viewing for those who may want to grab an autograph or a picture with one of the fighters.
On fight night, those who wish to watch the card with a crowd in Las Vegas can do so at the Venetian and the Palazzo. Tickets will be $50 to watch the fight on closed circuit inside the Venetian ballroom. A food and beverage minimum will be required to watch in Palazzo's Lagasse's Stadium.
They are doing it because history has shown that PPV sales dip whenever an event is held outside of the country. Even though everything has been timed to go on television at the exact same time as every other pay-per-view, many potential customers get confused and sales can be impacted by as much as 25 percent.
So it's a great marketing idea to build attention in the U.S. and to deliver the message that from a television standpoint at least, nothing has changed.
By the way, I am flying to Macau on Sunday and will be there all week to provide coverage of the bout, which could be the finale of Pacquiao's magnificent career if he is beaten by Rios.