PACQUIAO WATCH: Beyond crass commercialism
By Edwin G. Espejo
Thu, 15 Jan 2009
THE Pacquiao-Hatton super fight this May will definitely push through even if the two camps are still wrangling over who gets how much of the pot that these two fighters will bring to the table and pockets of HBO and their promoters.
Both camps, Team Pacquiao and the Mancunian Express, have been derided for their "greed" over the figure that their ward should get from the proceeds of what is shaping up as the biggest fight in the first half of this year.
Manny's lawyer Jeng Gacal has been pilloried for putting words on what the Filipino boxing icon thinks he deserved in fighting the British brawler, some even questioning his credentials as a member of the bar.
Hatton's lawyer even threatened to sue Team Pacquiao for allegedly reneging on a verbal contract when Manny declined to fight the British light welterweight champion.
But is there really a 'verbal contract' between the two camps?
I seriously doubt it. Even if there is, it won't be perfected unless signed into a legal document. In this case a written fight contract.
But let us leave that to the legal minds should this imbroglio reach the courts.
My information was that there was an agreement in principle, agreed in December, for the two most exciting boxers to fight sometime this year.
Manny, as my source said, gave his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank the go ahead to hold talks with Hatton's camp.
The said source however said there was no mention then of what and how much would Manny get from the fight.
Putting this issue into perspective, it was Hatton who called out Manny's name even before the Filipino southpaw went up against Oscar de la Hoya.
But going back farther, it should be pointed out that Hatton only got his eight figure fight purse only because the camp of Floyd Mayweather Jr. made the mistake of ceding the UK PPV proceeds of their fight to the British mauler.
According to the grapevine, PPV proceeds of the December 8, 2006 Hatton-Mayweather fight in the UK alone topped the 800,000 mark. All the upside of those went to Hatton.
In the US, their fight generated some 875,000 buys.
On a quick glance, that should cement Hatton's drawing power.
According to my informant, Hatton's camp initially wanted all UK PPV proceeds again by himself when he fights Manny Pacquiao.
It was a proposition flatly rejected by Team Pacquiao even before Arum could sit down with Golden Boy Promotion, Hatton's promoter.
Gacal himself told this corner during Manny's birthday that all PPV sales anywhere else should be added to the pot, mindful of Mayweather's oversight.
Manny's asking figure of a 60-40 split is not absurd at all given his more accomplished fight record and his status as boxing's current biggest draw and number one ranking, pound for pound.
That figure could still be haggled out but, definitely, Manny deserves a premium over Hatton.
Again, this corner believes Hatton could get equal split in the PPV proceeds in England.
Anywhere else, Manny should get the bigger slice, at least 60-40.
The two could split the live gate receipts and all other peripheral bonanzas except the free and cable TV rights in the Philippines, which is included in the live contract between Manny and Top Rank.
But beyond the purse war, somebody should be reminded that of all people, the Brits are the most hard-nosed when it comes to contracts involving sum of money.
They are also the most racially-motivated people.
It is time for Asians, particularly Filipinos, to give the Brits their comeuppance.
In the words of Wallace (Mel Gibson) in his classic movie the Braveheart, time "to show them some arse."
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Edwin G. Espejo.
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