By John G. Thompson: Filipino Congressman, eight division champion, and pound-for-pound great Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO’s) appeared on ESPN2’s “First Take” this past Thursday and announced something which could help make the long anticipated fight between him and fellow pound-for-pound great and five division champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26 KO’s) actually materialize.
Pacquiao publicly announced that he is willing to cede the majority of revenue the fight would generate to Mayweather, who has been unwilling to fight under the normal 50-50 split. Though an even split is customary for two champions, Mayweather argued that his fights generate more revenue, and based on the numbers he is correct. Pacquiao stated that he would be willing to take a 55-45 split, possibly easing the barriers preventing a showdown between boxing’s two top stars.
Another point of contention from Mayweather has been Pacquiao’s refusal to accept random drug tests. Just to put this issue to rest as well, Pacquiao reiterated in the interview that he would be willing to submit himself for random drug testing. It seems that many fans are not up to date with this issue, so just for a little background: Mayweather and Pacquiao have attempted negotiations for this fight numerous times over the past few years. Mayweather accused Pacquiao of taking performance enhancing substances and demanded random drug testing from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Pacquiao sued Mayweather for defamation in December of 2009 regarding these allegations, and just this week a federal judge in Las Vegas required Mayweather to pay $114,000 for failure to appear at the depositions. Pacquiao, as far back as July 2011, has agreed to take random drug testing, just not from the USADA or on the night of the fight. Pacquiao has agreed to take the drug tests from another agency – the Olympic Organization. Also, Pacquiao has now even agreed to take a test immediately before the fight, saying “No problem… Even the night of the fight. No problem.”
Pacquiao made these statements Thursday in Bristol, Connecticut during a promotion for Pacquiao’s upcoming fight with longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO’s). A fourth fight between Pacquiao and Marquez will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on December 8th, televised on HBO Pay-Per-View. The first fight back in 2004 ended in a draw after Pacquiao knocked Marquez down three times in the first round, but Marquez rallied back behind some crafty boxing. Pacquiao won the next two fights by a split decision in 2008 and majority decision in 2011, though the two fights were controversially close. Marquez himself fought Mayweather in 2009, losing an extremely lopsided decision to Floyd. For what it’s worth Marquez predicts a victory for Mayweather should he ever meet Pacquiao in the ring.
Despite these concessions from Pacquiao this fight is still a long ways from happening. Hopefully Mayweather will not take issue with the Olympic Organization’s drug testing over the USADA. More importantly for the fighter who changed his nickname from “Pretty Boy” to “Money” a number of years ago is the issue of Pay-Per-View sales. According to Pacquiao, Mayweather called him in January and made a flat offer of $40 million with no share of the gate or PPV sales. Pacquiao turned this down, but hopefully this new offer from Pacquiao will be enough to satisfy Mayweather’s pride as well as his wallet. Without the excuse of drug testing and now with Pac Man willing to cede the majority of profits, the ball is in Mayweather’s court.