Boxing

Manny Pacquiao Refuses to Bow to Oscar's Demands

By Jack Presscot: Well, it finally happened, just as I had predicted. I knew, from past experiences, following negotiations with various de la Hoya opposition, that this fight, de la Hoya vs. Pacman was not going to happen, based on money. This all started back in September of 1999. Tito Trinidad and Oscar had just battled it out for 12 rounds, and Michael Buffer had just announced the Pride of Puerto Rico as the new Welterweight King. As Trinidad was getting interviewed by Larry Merchant, he called out an embarrassed Oscar de la Hoya, and told him he had a question. So with cameras rolling, Tito asked him in Spanish "Am I worth the 10 million now" to much ballyhoo and laughter..

It seems that even back then, Oscar de la Hoya was in the habit of low-balling his opponents at the negotiating table. Oscar de la Hoya is the Golden Boy of Boxing, and of HBO, and it seems, that he feels he is worth more, as far as purse money, than anyone in the history of the sport. The circus sideshow about the 10 million didn't end with the Merchant interview. Later that night, at the post fight press conference, Don King quickly took the podium, and informed both Bob Arum, and Oscar that they would be granted an instant rematch, as long as the financial figures were reversed, and this caused audible cussing on the part of Bob Arum, and a nauseous look on the face of de la Hoya.

It is nearly a decade later, and neither Don King, nor Tito Trinidad has budged on this stance, and it is primarily, the sole reason why Oscar de la Hoya will not avenge this terrible loss on his record. From my perspective, Oscar appears to believe that any fighter out there is worth more than he is at the box office. What Oscar de la Hoya is mistakenly believing is that he is the sole draw to the fights.

And there is no doubt, that a de la Hoya fight is intriguing, and catches the interest of even the casual fan. But nobody wants to pay 54.95 to watch Oscar de la Hoya shadowboxing in the ring. It is the fight itself that brings the asses to the seats. If Oscar fights Stevie Forbes, he can agree to fight on HBO, and sell tickets for as cheap as $5.00 because not even he is egotistical enough to think that fans would pay PPV dollars for a mismatch/exhibition like that.

But for a fight as intriguing as the de la Hoya-Mayweather Jr. they would, and indeed they did. But because Mayweather settled for the lesser dollars initially, didn't mean he would settle for it in a rematch against a guy he knows he owns inside the ropes. Floyd Jr. rather retired than give Oscar de la Hoya the satisfaction of taking home another huge payday, even if it meant he didn't get to beat the Golden Boy twice like Sugar Shane Mosley.

Sugar Shane Mosley and Gary Shaw offered de la Hoya a third shot at redemption, but Shane, with not one, but two victories over the Golden Boy, let Oscar know during negotiations, that he wanted "purse parity, or no deal," "I need to make more money than Oscar de la Hoya, even if by one dollar"....but still no deal. Oscar and co. said the same things after negotiations failed that Oscar was babbling about on ESPN Radio yesterday. "Shane will make more money fighting me, than fighting any other fighter" He neglected to remind the Boxing Public how much more he would be making than the man who had conquered him twice. And of course, Oscar had to throw out the old "The money is still on the table" as if Shane Mosley were a starving wino, desperate for cash. Shane went on to fight someone for lesser dollars, but the principle of the situation remained. He would not bow to the wishes of the man he had twice beaten inside the ring.

Neither did Manny Pac. Manny maintained a hardline stance against Golden Boy Promotions, and insisted on weight, glove size, and of course, a 60-40 split. Oscar was willing to concede glove size and even sacrifice his health to make a dangerous 147. (Woe be to Oscar if he decides to face the dangerous Margarito at 147) What never ceases to amaze me, is that a lot of the hardcore fanatics of Oscar de la Hoya, believe the same things about their deity that he believes about himself. "Internet Forum Geeks" as the Ring Magazine calls online boxing fans, are still arguing daily about whether or not Oscar was right in demanding a 70-30 split to face the reigning P4P champion, and reigning WBC 135lb titleholder, and his fans maintain that other fighters ought to be honored just to stand next to de la Hoya. People who think like this probably make yearly pilgrimages to the new bronze de la Hoya statue in front of the Staples Center, and pray to it.

Now Oscar is faced with a dilemma. There are limited options for a December date, and time is running short. This writer believes that Oscar will throw out the idea of a December fight, and opt for a Cinco de Mayo Grand Finale in Vegas, instead. But against who? There are those who say that Floyd Jr. can be tempted out of retirement, if the price is right, and with Pretty Boy's love of the game, I can see this happening. There is the dangerous Margarito, but he may opt to face Paul Williams in a rematch first, and that could be disastrous for the plans of GBP. Julio Jr.? While this would be a massive fight, promotion wise, after Jr.'s shaky decision over Paul Vanda, Bob Arum may opt out of this one. And there is always Sergio Mora, if he can get past the Viper.

Only time will tell.

Article posted on 14.08.2008



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