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Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight turning into a debacle


Floyd Mayweather(l) and Manny Pacquiao
Floyd Mayweather(l) and Manny Pacquiao

With 10 days to go until the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, contracts are not signed, tickets are not on sale, and the fight that could save boxing is instead reflecting the flaws that continue to damage it.

While the two camps agreed to the fight in February, they have yet to sign the contract, according to reports.

As a result, tickets to both the fight at the MGM Grand and the closed-circuit viewings at MGM properties around Las Vegas have not been released for sale.

Ticket sales are expected to generate $72 million, but a week and a half before the fight, no one has a ticket. The two sides reportedly made progress on Tuesday, but the contract remains unsigned as of Wednesday morning.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, is blaming Mayweather Promotions, and vice versa.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said Mayweather’s adviser Al Haymon is responsible and that the delay is possibly a power play so Mayweather’s camp can get more tickets to sell on the secondary market. This theory was seconded by Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, who later said, “This is Haymon and Haymon alone. He is trying to keep us from getting what we’re due in the agreement we signed.”

Mayweather Promotions did not respond to requests for comment.

Arum told Rovell that the contract Mayweather Promotions sent Top Rank on April 15 was different from the term sheet they signed back in February. Top Rank wouldn’t have control over how the fight is staged under the contract that’s on the table, Arum said.

“They don’t want us to have any say,” Arum said. “So whether they came up with the deal between Mayweather and MGM before or after our agreement, they’ve committed fraud either way. That’s what we’re enmeshed in.”

On Tuesday, Arum said his camp finally got the ticket manifest, which seems to have cooled tensions a bit.

Mayweather Promotions is the fight’s lead promoter. The two sides also agreed to a 60-40 revenue split in favor of Mayweather. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told Rovell that Arum is trying to change the agreement at the last minute, hence the delay:

The bottom line is that Bob isn’t willing to live with the agreement signed a couple months ago, which doesn’t allow him to be in control. The only conspiracy, in my opinion, exists with him trying to conspire with his lawyers to change the terms of the agreement. I assure you that nothing underhanded is going on and the reference to this back alley stuff is ridiculous.

Oscar De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotions used to promote Mayweather’s fights, blamed Floyd’s camp for the delay, which he called “shocking.”

“This is mind-boggling. This is shocking, but at the same time, we understand what is going on,” he said. “This is the Al factor. This is what you get when you deal with Al.”

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