Pacquiao ‘embarrassed’ by Mayweather offer

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06:08 AM February 23rd, 2012

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February 23rd, 2012 06:08 AM

DREAM FIGHT. The much-awaited battle featuring the world’s best pound-for-pound boxing champions Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. appears to be a certainty this year. The fight could take place sometime in May and would likely generate one of the biggest purses and television audiences in boxing history. AFP

LOS ANGELES—Manny Pacquiao said the pieces were falling into place for a world title fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. until the American boxer tried to low-ball him on the split of the pay-per-view revenue.

The Filipino boxer said he called Mayweather personally to try to broker a deal for a world championship fight and thought they had an agreement until the latter brought up the pay-per-view.

Mayweather said he would give Pacquiao a $40-million lump sum if Pacquiao agreed to let Mayweather keep the pay-per-view earnings for himself.

“It was embarrassing to me,” Pacquiao said on Tuesday. “He was trying to take advantage of me. It is clear he didn’t want to fight.”

Some experts have estimated that the pay per view could be around $160 million.

Pacquiao and Mayweather have tried several times to get a contract signed but it has been scuttled for a variety of reasons, including disagreements over blood testing and the share of the purse.

“I called Floyd and told him that we need to make this fight happen,” Pacquiao said at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

“I said he could have whatever he wants, blood testing, 50/50 split and he said ‘Oh, well. I will give you what you want.’ Then he mentioned the pay-per-view.”

Other opponents

For now, Pacquiao and the unbeaten Mayweather have lined up other opponents with speculation that the mega fight could happen later in the year if it comes off at all.

Pacquiao is scheduled to face American Timothy Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for Pacman’s World Boxing Organization welterweight belt.

Mayweather is set to fight Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto on May 5 for the latter’s World Boxing Association super welterweight title at the same venue.

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said he was not taking Bradley lightly, but added it was hard not to get excited about a possible upcoming mega fight against Mayweather.

“If both (Pacquiao and Mayweather) come off with good wins it will be a step in the right direction,” Roach said on Tuesday. “That is the match everyone in the world wants to see.”

Bradley was one of several fighters in the mix seen as a possible Pacquiao opponent after talks with Mayweather fell through.

Bradley boasts a record of 28-0 with 12 knockouts. Pacquiao, 54-3-2 with 38 knockouts, hasn’t lost since March 2005 and is considered the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.

But Pacquiao was less than dominant as he struggled to a majority points decision over Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez in November last year.

Promo tour

Bradley and Pacquiao kicked off their promotional tour on Tuesday at The Beverly Hills Hotel. They smiled as they posed for photos together and Pacquiao then lightheartedly borrowed a camera and took pictures of Bradley in his boxing pose.

Joking aside, Roach said he expected Pacquiao to knock Bradley out.

“I don’t want him to be compassionate,” Roach said. “I want him to knock people out. Manny can’t be a nice guy and try to touch gloves in the ring with him.”

Roach said Bradley was more than just a replacement fighter and that the Pacquiao camp wanted to hand him the first loss of his career while he is still in his prime.

“It is nice to fight a fighter who is undefeated and not worried about losing that 0 on his record,” Roach said.

Bradley, of Palm Springs, California, is coming off an eight-round knockout victory over former world champion Joel Casamayor.

The 28-year-old Bradley said he planned to take the fight to the 33-year-old Pacquiao.

Going out flaming

Bradley said he wouldn’t make the same mistakes as Joshua Clottey and Shane Moseley who were booed because they talked a good fight but didn’t back it up once they got in the ring with eight-division world champion Pacquiao.

“They were older and older boxers don’t take chances like young fighters do,” Bradley said.

“I don’t have a lot of miles on me like Manny. If I am going out then I am going out flaming. He is going to have to knock me out. Manny is going to have to kill me to stop me,” he added.

Bad habits

Pacquiao will travel to New York for another news conference on Thursday and then fly back to the Philippines where he is a member of Congress.

Pacquiao has also divested himself of some bad habits, selling a casino he owned and getting rid of the fighting cocks in the Philippines.

“Manny got a lot of distractions out of his life,” Roach said. “He sold all his cocks for fighting, doesn’t gamble, doesn’t drink and he and his wife are getting along.” AFP

Originally posted at 02:46 pm | Wednesday, February 22,  2012

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