Pacquiao-Hatton fight in limbo over money issue
By NICK GIONGCO
Manny Pacquiao is entertaining thoughts about facing somebody else other than Ricky Hatton after negotiations for his proposed May 2 battle appeared to have come to a standstill owing to a conflict in the financial split.
And to make it even more difficult for the parties involved to find a win-win solution, Top Rank chief Bob Arum has told Pacquiaoâ€™s lawyer, Franklin Gacal, that he canâ€™t do anything more to change the 50-50 sharing scheme that was imposed by Hatton and Golden Boy Promotions (GBP).
"He (Arum) canâ€™t move the figures," Gacal said yesterday after a long-distance conversation with the Hall of Fame promoter.
Gareth Williams, who represents the British boxing icon, told the Daily Telegraph in a story that came out yesterday that he had initially thought a deal had been made with Arum.
"We already have a verbal agreement from Pacquiaoâ€™s promoter Bob Arum that it would be 50/50 split for the contest. We have said all along that that is all we are prepared to do, and Arum has agreed to the equal share," said Williams, who is Hattonâ€™s legal counsel.
Arum pointed out that Hattonâ€™s cult-like status in England is a big plus in pay-per-view sales and this was evident when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 when it drew 1.4 million buys there. In contrast, the US sales were 850,000.
But Gacal said following that knockout loss to Mayweather, Hattonâ€™s popularity has dropped dramatically as proven by a low turnout in pay-per-view sales when he fought Paulie Malignaggi in his last outing on Nov. 22, 2008.
With Pacquiao adamant about getting the lionâ€™s share of the revenue, it now appears that the ball is in the hands of Hatton, GBP and even Arum.
"I really donâ€™t think that 50-50 is fair (for Pacquiao)," Gacal said.
Pacquiao said in a TV interview that the Mayweather camp has expressed the desire to stage a bout between the current pound-for-pound king and the former holder of that mythical title.
Should negotiations formally start for a Pacquiao-Mayweather slugfest, the weight will be a major issue to be tackled and Gacal said trainer Freddie Roachâ€™s opinion will weigh heavily.
"(We would like it to take place between )143 to 144 lbs (but) itâ€™s up to Freddie," Gacal said.
Pacquiao fought at welterweight (147 lbs) when he scored the biggest victory of his career - an eighth-round TKO of Oscar De La Hoya on Dec. 6 - and doesnâ€™t intend to fight on that weight class again.
When Mayweather fought Hatton, it was for Maywetatherâ€™s World Boxing Council welterweight crown with Mayweather coming in at 147 lbs and Hatton scaling at 145.
Leonard Ellerbe, who has known Mayweather since his teenage days and who now serves as his adviser, told the US press late last year that it is certain that Mayweather will return to the ring in 2009 and that theyâ€™re just finding the best deal.
I'm gonna have to be killed before I lose, and I ain't going to die easy - Muhammad Ali