Now that talks for a possible superfight with British superstar Ricky Hatton have bogged down, Manny Pacquiao’s camp is now considering other options.
One of those options is a match up with former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., whose emissaries have reportedly kept in touch with Pacquiao’s camp even before negotiations for the Hatton match began.
“[‘Yong] Mayweather camp nakikipag-usap sa amin (Mayweather’s camp is talking with us),” Pacquiao told ABS-CBN correspondent Dyan Castillejo.
The Filipino boxer had just turned his back from a 52-48 split offer by Hatton’s camp, refusing to sign the fight contract that will give him a guaranteed purse of $12 million.
The refusal was reportedly made “as a matter of principle.”
“Marami pa naman tayong makakalaban d’yan. Like Mayweather, nakikipag-negotiate naman sila (There’s still many other possible opponents out there. Like Mayweather, they’re negotiating with us),” said Pacquiao.
Mayweather Jr., however, will have to get out of retirement first before arranging a fight with the Filipino superstar.
Shrugging off Hatton fight
The Filipino boxer merely shrugged off the postponement of his May 2 fight with Hatton, saying that he can do nothing about it.
“Wala akong magagawa, basta ‘yong offer namin hangga't hindi sila nag-agree doon… the fight is off (I can’t do anything about it. As long as they don’t accept our offer… the fight is off),” said Pacquiao.
From an initial demand of a 60-40 split, Pacquiao’s camp has whittled their offer down to two choices: 55-45 with a $12 million guarantee or 52-48 with a $13 million guarantee.
"Fair ‘yon para sa both parties... Hindi naman ako nang-gugulang ng tao (that’s fair for both parties… I’m not taking advantage of anybody),” said the Filipino.
Pacquiao reasoned that in his Dream Match with Oscar de la Hoya, he agreed to get the smaller part of the deal. The pound-for-pound king gave in to a 68-32 share with an $11 million guaranteed purse to fight the Mexican-American star.
The Filipino said that this time, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP), which handles Hatton, should give him what he deserves.
“Hindi naman puwede na kung ano na lang sabihin nila ay bibigay na lang tayo (It’s not good that I just give in to what ever they say). I have to get what I deserve,” said the Filipino superstar.
When asked if he’s still willing to face Hatton under his conditions, Pacquiao’s answer was a quick yes.
“I will sign the contract ‘pag nag-agree sila sa ibinigay naming proposal,” he said. “I'm still open hangga't wala pa akong napirmahang kontratang iba.
(I will sign the contract if they agree to our proposal. I’m still open as long as I’ve not yet entered a fight contract with another boxer).
Pacquiao hits back at Schaeffer
The Filipino boxer, meanwhile, expressed dismay over the statement of Richard Schaefer, chief executive of GBP.
Schaefer criticized Pacquiao for refusing to back down from his demand.
"Frankly, I'm disgusted at the behavior of Manny Pacquiao. He's a spoiled young kid who doesn't know how to behave," the GBP executive said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Schaefer’s remark has already spread in several internet reports.
"I want to fight Ricky Hatton if the terms are right and fair," Pacquiao said. "Modesty aside, I did not become the best pound-for-pound fighter by fighting patsies on my way to the top.
"I beat Oscar de la Hoya when he said he was still on top of his game. I proved I can fight at any weight level and I won two different titles in two different divisions, also, last year.
Pacquiao said he simply called Schaefer's bluff in negotiations and the Hatton camp walked away rather than pay him his due.
"I find Schafer's actions and words too aristocratic. He's the one who is acting childish," Pacquiao said. "He is not professional and civil enough to give merits to the negotiating table."
Pacquiao says Schaefer blocked the fight over personal gripes with the Filipino star, whose camp dubbed Schaefer overly impatient and the contract offer unfair but only a little short of expectations.
"They were quoted as saying that if I do not sign their contract, they already have offers for them to fight in the British Isles with 80,000 people watching," Pacquiao said. Now it is obvious that they were just bluffing.
"Now they are saying they will fight De la Hoya. Then they are also calling out Floyd Mayweather. I say, Schafer is a bad businessman."
With reports from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News, and Agence France-Presse