PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — A dispute in revenue split is endangering the potentially explosive welterweight showdown pitting Manny Pacquiao against Ricky Hatton.
Negotiations for the May 2 bout reached a standstill after both camps failed to come to terms on the manner in which the revenue for the 12-round bout will be divided between the two boxers considered among the hard-punchers in the business today.
The Hatton people said they have been consistent all along in their demand that the British fighter get a 50-50 split for the fight, a percentage they said, had been endorsed by Pacquiao’s promoter himself, Bob Arum of Top Rank.
“We already have a verbal agreement from Pacquiao’s promoter (Bob Arum) that it would be 50/50 split for the contest. We have said all along that that is all we are prepared to do, and Arum has agreed to the equal share,” said Hatton legal counsel Gareth Williams in a report that came out of The Daily Telegraph, one of the popular British broadsheet newspapers.
But just when it appeared only the fight venue remains unaccounted for, Pacquiao brought out the issue surrounding the revenue split.
Arriving in Manila the other day after spending the Yuletide season in Los Angeles, the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter was singing a different tune and insisting that he should be receiving the larger chunk of the pie.
“We will not agree to a 50-50 sharing,” Pacquiao said through lawyer Franklin Gacal.
The Filipino lawyer said only a 60-40 sharing is acceptable on their part.
So adamant Gacal has been on their demand that he is even threatening to “find another opponent” should negotiations between the two parties totally collapsed.
The sensational eight-round technical knockout scored by Pacquiao against boxing top draw Oscar De La Hoya last month is the one being used by his camp as a bargaining power for a higher revenue split expected to earn out of one of the biggest fights for the year 2009.
For the fight with De La Hoya to push through, the Pacquiao camp agreed to a 67-33 split after haggling earlier for a 60-40 share. But Hatton’s drawing Pay-Per-View prowess in Britain had been the one used by Arum as yardstick for him to agree at a 50-50 split. Hatton’s 2007 12-round title fight against the now retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. earned 1 million hits in England alone.
Arum has yet to issue a formal statement on the new revenue sharing being asked by the Pacquiao camp.