- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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The key stumbling block to making a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight -- which looms as the richest bout in boxing history if it happens while both are near the top of their games -- has been Mayweather's insistence on taking the lion's share of the money.
On Thursday, during an appearance on ESPN2's "First Take," Pacquiao said he is willing to give Mayweather the bigger slice of the pie.
Pacquiao was appearing in the Bristol, Conn., studio with Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs). They are in the midst of a tour promoting their welterweight showdown on Dec. 8 (HBO PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but much of the conversation Thursday centered on a potential Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.
"I'm waiting for that fight to happen," said Pacquiao, boxing's only eight-division world champion. "I don't know what's the reason why that fight has not happened. ... It's OK for me if he gets a higher percentage than me."
In January, Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs), a five-division champion, and Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) spoke on the phone about a possible deal during which Mayweather offered to pay him a flat fee of $40 million for a proposed fight but would not allow him to share in the revenue. In the original negotiation, Mayweather agreed to a 50-50 split.
"I spoke to Floyd ... and he offered me an amount," Pacquiao said. "He didn't talk about the pay-per-views here and that's it. I can't agree with that. I told him I agree with 55 and 45 (split)."
The other issue that has prevented the fight -- and there have been multiple failed negotiations -- was Mayweather's demand for random blood and urine testing throughout the build-up to the bout. During the first negotiation, Pacquiao at first declined to participate in such testing but has long said he would agree.
He reiterated that during Thursday's interview.
"No problem," Pacquiao said. "Whatever he wants to do."
Even when Pacquiao previously had softened his stance on random testing, there was still an issue about doing a blood test on the day of the fight. But Pacquiao said Thursday he now would be OK with that, too.
"No problem," he said. "Even the night of the fight. No problem."
Mayweather has demanded that his recent opponents submit to random drug testing, in which Mayweather himself also participates. He has accused Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs, despite no evidence, which led to a December 2009 defamation suit.
The suit was another road block to making the fight, but this week a federal judge in Las Vegas ordered Mayweather to pay nearly $114,000 because he continually has refused to appear for a deposition with Pacquiao's lawyers.
The prospect of a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight likely disappears if Marquez defeats Pacquiao in December.
Pacquiao, a congressman in his native Philippines, and Marquez, a four-division titleholder and one of Mexico's all-time greats, will be fighting for the fourth time.
Pacquiao is 2-0-1 against him in three controversial decisions -- a draw in a 2004 featherweight championship fight, a Pacquiao split-decision victory in a 2008 junior lightweight championship fight, and a Pacquiao majority decision win in November, the most controversial bout of the three.
Marquez is 0-2 in welterweight fights -- the November loss challenging Pacquiao for the welterweight belt (which Pacquiao then lost in a highly disputed fashion to Timothy Bradley Jr. in June) and a lopsided decision to Mayweather in 2009.
Marquez predicted during Thursday's interview that if Pacquiao and Mayweather fight, Mayweather would win.
Manny Pacquiao said Thursday he is willing to give Floyd Mayweather Jr. the bigger slice of the pie in a potential fight between the two.