Pacquiao-Hatton fight is dead
The proposed fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton, targeted for May 2 in Las Vegas, is officially off.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, said Pacquiao failed to meet a deadline imposed by Hatton to have the deal signed and both fighters have decided to go their separate ways. Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, Hatton’s promoter, said the same thing.
The parties initially agreed to a 50-50 split of the purse, several sources said, but Pacquiao later demanded a 60-40 split and then rejected a compromise offer.
“Pacquaio wouldn’t accept the terms,” Arum said. “(Hatton’s promoter) Richard (Schaefer) and (Ricky) Hatton imposed a deadline, I tried to get them to sign a contract, Manny declined, the deadline came and went, the fight was called off.
“Simple as that.”
Arum, obviously frustrated throughout the negotiations, took a matter-of-fact approach on Wednesday.
“I don’t have any criticism for anybody,” he said. “Manny felt the deal should be one way, Hatton felt it should be another way. I tried to come up with what I thought was a good compromise and it was rejected.
“It left us without a fight, but there’s no one to blame here. ÔÇª I think most of Manny’s people wanted him to accept the compromise. He decided not to. It’s his life, his career.
“He didn’t violate any contracts,” Arum went on. “Hatton didn’t violate any obligations to anyone. Everyone acted in a business-like manner.”
So what’s next?
Arum said he would like to meet with Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, next week either in Los Angeles or in the Philippines to discuss possible opponents.
Roach, who guided Pacquiao to his knockout of Oscar De La Hoya on Dec. 6, apparently was shut out of the negotiations for the Hatton fight. He repeatedly tried to reach Pacquiao in the Philippines during the talks but was unsuccessful.
“I want Freddie at the meeting,” Arum said. “ÔÇª Freddie was excluded for whatever reason from Manny’s group in negotiations. Freddie has played a tremendous role in (Pacquiao’s) career. He’s always been a voice of sanity and reason.
“He should be involved in any discussion about future moves in Manny’s career.”
The most-intriguing potential opponent for Pacquiao is Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is retired for the moment. Other than that, the possibilities are wide open, but no other match up would approach a Hatton or Mayweather fight in scope.
Meanwhile, Schaefer remained disgusted with Pacquiao but is looking forward.
“Hatton’s really pissed off,” Schaefer said. “We wasted a lot of time. I’m having lunch with Bob (Arum on Wednesday). He’s as frustrated as I am, but life goes on. ÔÇª We had (an oral) deal at 50-50. Pacquiao changed his mind. He has a history of agreeing to deals and then changing his mind.
“You can’t really blame his lawyer Franklin Gacal. Ultimately, it’s Manny’s decision.”
Hatton has instructed Schaefer to begin negotiations with Mayweather for a rematch of their 2007 fight – won by Mayweather – or go after the winner of the Feb. 28 Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz fight.
Schaefer also said Hatton wants to know whether De La Hoya might be interested in fighting him in England should De La Hoya decide to continue fighting.
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]