Saturday, December 12, 2009
Updated: December 13, 7:58 AM ET
Report: Jones offers $25M for megafight
ESPNDallas.com news services
DALLAS -- Dallas Cowboys officials are still interested in bringing the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight to Cowboys Stadium, multiple sources close to the football team and fight officials told ESPNDallas.com on Saturday night.
Promoter Bob Arum expects to settle on a site by next week. While Las Vegas is the front-runner, Arum claims it still might be Dallas.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered to pay $25 million as a site fee.
"I'm working really hard to bring the fight down to Dallas," Arum told ESPNDallas.com.
The Top Rank boss spoke glowingly of Jones and his willingness to outbid Vegas for what might be the richest fight in boxing history.
"I know Texas people, and I know that a first proposal doesn't mean it's the final proposal," Arum to the Associated Press. "I'm saying that Dallas is a real live possibility, and I have a fiduciary responsibility to Manny Pacquiao to get him the most money."
Arum also expressed frustration Saturday night with Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer, who assists Mayweather Promotions, for canceling a trip to Dallas because he doesn't want the fight in Jones' opulent stadium.
The Dallas bid was thought to be nearly dead after Schaefer skipped the trip on Wednesday to scout for Mayweather. But Arum, speaking after Top Rank fighter Lamont Peterson lost his 140-pound title shot against Timothy Bradley, insists Schaefer must consider Jones' offer.
"I think everybody involved has an obligation to see," said Arum, who has turned over the nuts-and-bolts negotiations to Top Rank president Todd duBoef because Arum gets too emotional.
Sources told ESPNDallas.com that Cowboys officials are prepared to seat approximately 9,000 fans on the football field and lower the video board, which is 90 feet above the ground, to close to 25 feet above the ring. The fight could have a capacity of close to 100,000 fans.
"I know we can get the greatest offer in history from the Texas stadium," Arum said. "My position is whoever has the best deal for those two fighters, that's where I want the deal."
Cowboys spokesperson Brett Daniels said Saturday night the organization wouldn't have a comment. However, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he's interested in having the fight in Cowboys Stadium.
"I'm willing to help in any way that I can," Cuban said in an e-mail to ESPNDallas.com. "I think it would be great for North Texas and Cowboys Stadium to host the fight. I have a call in to Floyd and have offered my assistance. We will see what happens."
Arum might want this historic fight to happen in decidedly unhistoric Cowboys Stadium, or he might simply be attempting to leverage Jones' bid against the MGM Grand to get a better offer from the best fight site in boxing's capital city.
The MGM Grand likely could craft a bigger offer than $25 million based on closed-circuit tickets and the ancillary benefits of being in the gambling mecca, but the casino likely can't match the possible Dallas gate -- and Arum wants a guarantee.
"I'm guaranteeing my fighter $25 million," Arum said. "I ain't going for pie in the sky on this."
Calvin Watkins, who covers the Dallas Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com, and The Associated Press contributed to this story.