Michael Koncz discusses Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao post-game hotel meeting
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao had an hour-long meeting at Pacquiao’s hotel on Tuesday night, not long after their brief courtside discussion at the Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks game in Miami, according to Pacquiao’s adviser, Micheal Koncz.
“This was more of a private business meeting, and I believe that as of today, Floyd is sincere about wanting the fight after last night,” said Koncz.
Mayweather has fought four of six bouts thus far to satisfy a multi-million dollar agreement with Showtime and its parent company, CBS Corporation. Meanwhile, HBO has televised most of Pacquiao’s fights. The two networks are discussing a joint venture similar to that which produced Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson in June 2002.
Among the primary concerns of Mayweather, said Koncz, were the respective networks’ promotional documentaries, Showtime’s “All-Access” and HBO’s “24/7,” as well as which of their broadcasters would be assigned to work the fight. Koncz said he spoke on Wednesday morning to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, as well as CBS Corporation Chief Executive Les Moonves and HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler toward resolving the problem.
“They came to an agreement on those two issues,” said Koncz. “It is my understanding that the networks will each do a special on their own fighter.”
Arum acknowledged having spoken to Koncz, as well as Moonves and Plepler
“What happened last night, you got from Michael Koncz. I wasn’t there, so I got the same report from Michael that you did. Have I talked to Les Moonves today? Yes I have, and to Richard Plepler, and everybody is working hard to finish this off so that it happens,” said Arum.
“It sounds like everybody now believes that there is a good possibility that it could happen, and that’s good. As far as I’m concerned, I just do my job and I cover the points that I have to cover, and I don’t speculate.”
Pacquiao, meanwhile, is reportedly agreeable to the demands of Mayweather, which included a 60/40 split of the purse in favor of the undefeated fighter, as well as the site of the MGM and a drug-testing protocol. Last week, Pacquiao had given Mayweather a deadline of the end of “this month” to make the fight.
“I’ve not gone on the record about money, and I’m not planning to do that now,” said Koncz. “We’re anxious to make this fight, so somebody’s got to be on the A-side, and somebody’s got to be on the B-side, so to speak, when it comes to the negotiations. So as long as those negotiations are reasonable, then we’ve agreed to it.”
Is Manny the B-side versus Mayweather?
“For this particular purpose?” said Koncz. “In this negotiation, yes.”
Koncz shared his thoughts about the meeting during this Q&A with RingTV.com:
RingTV.com: So what happened between Floyd and Manny in that hotel room after the meeting at the Heat-Bucks game?
Michael Koncz: Well, Floyd came over after we initially agreed to meet in Manny’s suite, and they met for about an hour.
RingTV.com: Can you provide any detail on them meeting face-to-face for the first time?
MK: It wasn’t the first time they have met, it was the second time, because they had met at the basketball game.
RingTV.com: But this was different, wasn’t it, because this was a more prolonged period of time?
MK: This was more of a private business meeting, and I believe that as of today, Floyd is sincere about wanting the fight after last night. What he said last night was that he truly wanted the fight. Floyd said that he truly wanted to make the fight happen, and Manny said the same thing.
But then there were some concerns and issues about broadcasting that Floyd was concerned about and that he had. My response to that, and Manny agreed, was that if there were any problems, they would be taken care of.
Floyd put (Showtime boss) Stephen Espinoza on the phone with us as well, and I said that if those are the only problems, then that’s no problem, I’ll take care of those in the morning. To us, those are minor hurdles, and I reached out to resolve both of those issues this morning.
RingTV.com: Can you elaborate on what those concerns were?
MK: Floyd was concerned about who was going to be among those working the broadcast, and Floyd wanted it to be the Showtime broadcasters.
Another issue was whether there would be a “24/7” (HBO) or an “All-Access” (Showtime).
Floyd, myself and Manny all agreed that it was senseless to do a “24/7” or an “All-Access” because Manny and Floyd are not your average fighter. They’re already superstars across the world and we don’t need that kind of a show.
Last night Floyd had concerns, and Stephen Espinoza had concerns about the broadcast. There were two major issues there, and one was the utilization of the commentators, and the other was surrounding the “24/7” and “All-Access.”
My response to Floyd last night, and Manny agreed, was that those were very simple issues on our mind, and that we’ll put our foot down and take care of those tomorrow morning, which we did.
RingTV.com: How did you resolve them?
MK: By discussing it with Bob Arum, and also with subsequent discussions with Plepler and Les Moonves. They came to an agreement on those two issues. I don’t want to expose what those issues were, because I want Floyd to address that. But it is my understanding that the networks will each do a special on their own fighter.
RingTV.com: Was there anything discussion of a press tour?
MK: We didn’t really discuss that in depth with Floyd, but my position and that of Manny’s is we’re not agreeable to doing a multi-city press tour. We don’t believe that it’s necessary to do that for a fight of this magnitude.
Manny and Floyd are the two best boxers in this sport, and people have been waiting for this fight to happen for many years, and not just the hardcore boxing fans, but people who know nothing about boxing.
So, I don’t think that a worldwide press tour is necessary to promote this thing. Last night, at the basketball game — which wasn’t planned and wasn’t staged, but it happened — maybe that’s God’s will that they showed up in the same place. They’re already superstars.
But even if you went on a five-city press tour, you would not have generated the coverage that we got last night at the Miami Heat game. So we’re not inclined to be involved in a multi-city press tour. Why spend large sums of money toward a press tour when that money can go into the pockets of the fighters.
RingTV.com: Was there anything about their mutual behaviors that surprised you?
MK: No, nothing surprised me about them because, again, as I’ve said before, when we met a couple of years back, when Floyd is by himself, he’s a very pleasant, courteous, professional person.
So I wasn’t surprised. Manny was happy that we had the meeting, and I think that it was long overdue that Manny and Floyd came face-to-face, and so they see the real personalities of one another. So Manny was happy that they had the meeting.
RingTV.com: After the hour-long face-to-face interaction between Manny and Floyd during their meeting, what do you consider the likelihood of this fight happening at this point?
MK: I have no reason as of this moment to doubt Floyd’s sincerity to make this fight happen. My feeling is that I know that Manny wants the fight, and I believe that Floyd is being sincere when he says that he wants the fight.
I have no reason to doubt his sincerity at this point in time. Is that going to change tomorrow? I don’t know, but at this point in time, I believe that he is being sincere.
So I believe that Floyd wants to make the fight happen. So if Manny wants to make the fight happen, and Floyd wants to make the fight happen, then nobody can stop this from happening, and I told this to Floyd and Manny last night.
Bob Arum can’t stop the fight. Showtime can not stop the fight. HBO cannot stop it. I believe that the fight will be made if the two fighters want it to happen, and my belief, after watching them together, is that’s they both want the fight. So I believe that the fight is going to happen.