- Michael Woods, Boxing
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The possibility of a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight in May wasn't squashed, according to Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz, until today, when Mayweather announced that he'd be taking on Miguel Cotto on May 5 in Las Vegas.
Koncz reached out to ESPN New York after being made aware of comments Mayweather made to the website Boxing Scene today, while he was before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, re-securing a license to fight in Nevada. Mayweather needed to jump this commission hurdle because of his legal woes; the fighter is due to serve jail time starting June 1 for committing assault on his ex-girlfriend last September.
Koncz took issue with Mayweather laying blame on Pacquiao for not making their eagerly anticipated superfight happen.
"I tried to give the fans blood, sweat and tears with Manny Pacquiao, but he didn't want the fight from the beginning," Mayweather told Boxing Scene. "This guy is ducking and dodging."
"At no time did Manny duck this fight," said Koncz, who admitted that he and Mayweather had agreed not to litigate this issue in the media. But the adviser felt compelled to answer Mayweather's "ducking" allegations.
Koncz said that Pacquiao has negotiated during this round of back-and-forth, which he said has been ongoing for almost three weeks, in a spirit of compromise. "I told Floyd no media, but I had to respond. There has been no give-and-take from Mayweather, no compromise on his side. We initiated the contact with Mayweather."
On Jan. 26, it emerged that Mayweather offered Pacquiao a flat fee of $40 million, guaranteed, during a phone call between the two on Jan. 18. Pacquiao turned down that proposal, and asked for a 50-50 split in revenues instead. “How can he leave me out of the pay-per-view when I generate more than him in pay-per-view sales? I am still praying that Mayweather gets enlightened because I believe that I am not being unreasonable,” said Pacquiao to ABS-CBN News on Jan. 26.
Last week, Manny budged from that 50-50 request, Koncz told me. He said he'd do a 45-55 split of revenues, with the winner to get the 55 percent. "Mayweather rejected that," Koncz said. "That's what transpired. Floyd has made one offer, and stuck to that offer."
Both fighters would receive a guaranteed purse -- Koncz said Arum promised Pacquiao $50 million, and guaranteed Floyd $50-60 million -- and that 45-55 split would come from funds collected from the pay-per-view sales. Koncz said he estimates that the pay-per-view would generate between $150-$200 million in revenue. "If Mayweather is the best, as he says, then he would be getting between $10 and $20 million more than Manny," the adviser said. "Does that seem like we're ducking the fight? I don't think so."
Mayweather backers have long theorized that Pacquiao is the one keeping the fight from being made; they've offered as evidence his apparent unwillingness to accept drug-testing terms dictated by Mayweather. It appears that argument is null and void, because Koncz said that Pacquiao has agreed to meet Mayweathers' testing demands. "Manny agreed to testing, any time, any day, except for the day of the fight," Koncz said.
Koncz said Pacquiao also expressed willingness, in the spirit of compromise, to budge on the date of the fight. The fighter and Arum had basically settled on a June date, but Pacquiao would have agreed to Mayweather's preferred date, May 5.
"There's been no give-and-take from Mayweather," Koncz continued. "So who's ducking the fight?"
The adviser emphasized that no doors have been slammed shut on their end. "I have no anger or animosity toward Mayweather," he said. "I hope the best for him in his fight with Cotto. I am a little upset that he said we're ducking. But there's been no give and take from Mayweather. So who's ducking the fight?"