Sunday, December 6, 2009


Top Rank promoter Bob Arum not only knows the business of boxing which he has been involved in since 1966 when he promoted the Muhammd Ali-George Chuvalo heavyweight title fight in Canada, he knows his prized possession – pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao.

When Arum met with Pacquiao and his adviser Michael Koncz who is completely trusted by both the fighter and his promoter, to discuss the details of the March 13 classic showdown against Floyd Mayweather Jr, Arum said he had “offered him a number against his percentage” which we understand was a guaranteed $20 million.

In an exclusive interview with, Standard Today and Viva Sports along with Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN, Arum revealed that Pacquiao “asked for a bigger number and I tried to come with a number that was sort of in-between. A compromise. But you know Manny always loves to win so when I agreed to his number there was a big smile on his face and he was like in seventh heaven.”

Arum said ”you know my thinking was that Manny always comes through on his pay-per-view fights and done a big number and he’s performed in the ring and in the promotion and I think it will do the same on this fight so I agreed to his guarantee, ” which is reportedly $25 million.

HBO Sports believes the fight could generate a record-breaking 3 million pay-per-view homes which would, at a price of $60, gross $180 million. With all the deductions for expenses and the promoters percentage the net figure expected to be available for the two fighters would be around $90 million which, based on an even 50-50 split would give Pacquiao an additional income of around $20 million or a total of $45 million.

However, if the PPV numbers are in the vicinity of 2.5 million which Arum projects then the additional income for Pacquiao would be $12.5 million or a total of $37.5 million.

Arum said reaching an agreement didn’t take long even as he remarked that Pacquiao “may have known more when we started” in terms of negotiating but “he was a little shy about it.”

Arum also disclosed that when he first sat down with Schaefer he said "in the first meeting I had with the Mayweather people I said you want me to spend two hours saying why Manny deserves more than fifty percent and then you'll spend three hours telling me why Mayweather is entitled to more than 50 percent. So let's save a lot of time and cut out the nonsense.

He felt that the excitement about the Mayweather fight demonstrated by Pacquiao can be attributed to “his competitive juices. This fight is for boxing the equivalent of ten American Super Bowls. It is the biggest fight that we’ve had in boxing in the last 20 years from the standpoint of people talking about it, the buzz all over the world. I got up this morning and I couldn’t get off my cellphone. Mexico was calling me, France was calling me because everybody wants a statement. It is the biggest fight in boxing probably since the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight in 1970.”

Arum said “Pacquiao is participating in the biggest fight and he is on the biggest stage and he is pumped up and energized.”

However, Arum admitted that “the only thing I fear is the politics takes away some of the focus. I mean all Filipinos are going to be rooting for Manny like never before. This is the biggest fight, the biggest thing on the world stage so Filipinos as one – and I don’t want to get involved in Philippine politics – this person running against Manny should really reconsider whether it will be best for him to pull out of the fight and to take that one worry off Manny’s head.”

He invited Roy Chiongbian who is reportedly a reluctant candidate who is being pushed into the fray by his family to “come to the fight, cheer for Manny and run again for office for congress or even higher office. But he shouldn’t be running against Manny and trying to distract Manny so that he could possibly lose the fight.”

Arum said that he and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer who met early in the week over lunch in Las Vegas top discuss the fight “were very careful this time and went through every conceivable item and got that out of the way. I really believe that once we select the site the battle for tickets starts. Everybody including my cousins whom I haven’t see in 50 years am sure will be on the phone asking for fight tickets.”

Arum said he hadn’t been in contact with the Mayweather people but as of Saturday noon he had been in contact twice with Schaefer since he arrived in Manila since Schaefer was tasked with representing the Mayweather camp in the negotiations.

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