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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Promoters throw in the towel on Pacquiao concert

By Dave Dondoneau
TGIF Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Philippines boxer Manny Pacquiao celebrated his WBO welterweight title win Saturday in Texas.

AP LIBRARY PHOTO | March 13, 2010

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Citing poor ticket sales, promoters have canceled world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao's concert that was to be held Sunday at the Waikīkī Shell.

Ryan Chang of Island Fire Productions said that as of noon yesterday only 603 tickets had been sold for the "Manny Pacquiao Live In Hawaii Concert Celebration."

"The Shell holds about 8,500 people and we only needed to sell about 2,500 tickets to break even and we would have been happy," said Chang. "But I can't risk losing that much of our investors' money on walkups and late sales this week. A good walkup is about 500 people. As it stands I'll be taking about a $50,000 loss."

Pacquiao was going to earn $100,000 for performing Sunday. His pay-per-view take and fight purse from last Saturday's unanimous decision over Joshua Clottey in Dallas is expected to be between $17 million and $20 million.

At the Shell, he was going to sing for an hour with his MP Band and give away an autographed replica of the IBO light welterweight championship belt he earned with his win over Ricky Hatton last May. More than 20 other musicians, deejays, jugglers, dancers and magicians were also scheduled to take part in the concert.

Pacquiao's draw as a boxer is phenomenal . Cowboys Stadium was set up for 45,000 people to watch last Saturday's fight, but more than 50,000 tickets were sold, meaning that more than 5,000 fans had "party seats" where they could be in the stadium and watch it on big-screen TVs but had limited or no view of the ring itself.

In the ring, Pacquiao didn't disappoint those who consider him the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. He threw more than three times as many punches as Clottey and judges had him winning every round but one.

As a singer, Pacquiao isn't nearly as accomplished. He had two albums go platinum in the Philippines, but YouTube videos of his singing have shown him struggling to hit notes and keep his tone.

Chang said he hadn't been able to reach Pacquiao's camp to discuss the cancellation, but expected to hear from them sometime yesterday. He also said he's hoping to bring Pacquiao back sometime in the future.

"I don't know what to say about what happened," Chang said. "We thought Hawai'i would appreciate bringing him in and 25 bucks is pretty cheap and reasonable. We needed to either pull out now or make about $175,000 to break even. I couldn't risk dropping that much for my investors."

Tickets for the concert ranged from $25 to $150, with the highest-priced seats including a meet-and-greet with Pacquiao.

Ticket refunds will be issued Thursday, at the point of purchase, Chang said. Or contact Island Fire at 780-1975 or islandfireproductions@yahoo.com.