Mailbag: Big-name Twitter fights
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer was in his Los Angeles office Monday, trying to finalize an opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr. to fight May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Schaefer, though, kept getting distracted. An Interent report surfaced that Mayweather had zeroed in on lightweight title-holder Robert Guerrero as his opponent of choice. This was after World Boxing Council super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had emerged as the front-runner Friday.
Several reporters reached out to Schaefer, who late Monday was exasperated by having to respond to a slew of rumors on Twitter.
“People are calling me and saying, ‘I read on Twitter it’s Guerrero,’ or ‘I read on Twitter it’s Canelo,’ or ‘I read on Twitter that it’s somebody else,’ and I can’t even get my work done trying to get the opponent because I’m just taking all these calls,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer’s task has been made more difficult by the frequent tweets of Oscar De La Hoya, the Golden Boy president, taunting rival promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.
Over the last several months, De La Hoya has unleashed a steady barrage on Arum, blaming him for everything, it seemed, but the price of gas. He’s been tweeting incessantly about Arum’s role in the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao talks, or lack thereof.
The 80-year-old Arum is not on Twitter – his employees set up an account last year and he dictated several tweets, but quickly gave up on it and hasn’t tweeted since – but it hasn’t slowed De La Hoya.
On Sunday, he attempted to explain why he essentially tweets the same thing every day, writing, “so you guys understand why I’m bashing bob for not wanting to make fights happen on twitter is because we have tried over and over and. … ” and then finishing in a second tweet, “over again and doesn’t even have the curtasy [sic] to call back. my ceo richard has tried many months ago and nothing from Arum.”
Arum is far from Schaefer’s person, but Schaefer he has pleaded with De La Hoya to stop the onslaught, so far without success.
If Guerrero gets the fight bid, Mayweather is going to have a hard time defending the selection, particularly since his fans and members of his team have taunted Pacquiao for not fighting him.
Guerrero is a quality boxer, though not generally regarded as in Mayweather’s class. More significantly, though, is that he’s a lightweight and would have to move up two weight classes to face Mayweather.
In his last five fights, starting with his most recent and going backwards, Guerrero has weighed 134, 133, 138, 135 and 130 pounds. In Mayweather’s last five, he has weighed 146 1/2, 146, 146, 147 and 150.
• Mayweather took a break from tweeting about his betting winnings on Tuesday to call out Pacquiao. He wrote, “Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see.”
• Just wondering, since a judge let Mayweather out of jail so he could fight May 5, what happens if either Mayweather or his opponent in that bout gets hurt in training? Will the judge simply push the jail sentence is back until the fight occurs? If that’s the case, what odds would you give on there being more than one postponement?
• Spike TV and Top Rank are talking about running a boxing series. Details are sketchy, but expect a tournament-style format similar to what Bellator does in mixed martial arts, if the deal gets done.
• Several independent sources have indicated the reason why Guerrero has moved ahead of Alvarez as Mayweather’s likely May 5 opponent is because Alvarez is demanding a much larger purse than Mayweather is willing to pay.
• Ken Hershman started his new job Monday as president of HBO Sports. Hopefully, Hershman will dispel the persistent rumors he was brought in to make cuts and will instead work to find ways to make better fights and make boxing more relevant at HBO.
What is your take on the severity of Pacquiao’s cut? Does it seem reasonable for a cut to force nearly five months of inactivity?
He received 29 stitches after his Nov. 12 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas. The cut was very deep. Now, I am skeptical and would like the opportunity to speak to Pacquiao and ask about it, but he has not been made available to American reporters. It is possible that it could keep him out that long, but I’ve covered boxing for many years and have rarely heard of a cut sidelining someone that long.
Can you writers please start putting the pressure on these fighters to man up? I heard Pacquiao’s sorry interview and he has no desire to fight Mayweather in May, June, or December. People continue to blame Mayweather and the truth is, Bob Arum is doubting his cash cow. He is hurting the legacy of Pacman and I think in the end, Arum and Pacquiao will lose credibility. If Pacquiao is the best, take the test and fight for the crown.
We can’t force them to fight. We can report on their negotiations, ask them questions and make them aware of how badly the public wants to see the fight. But that said, this is a major financial deal and getting chastised by the media isn’t going to impact their thinking. There is plenty of blame on all sides for why this hasn’t happened already.
Is Mayweather scared of Pacquiao? This fight would make them both over $100 million and Las Vegas a lot more, plus the rematch, so the only answer is he must be scared.
Sanford H. Manchester III
The fighters aren’t going to make $100 million apiece, Sanford. Even though this fight will generate several hundred million in revenue, the fighters won’t come close to that. Even if the fight goes crazy on pay-per-view and sells a record three million, it’s hard to figure that. If they sell three million at $65 per pay-per-view, that is $195 million. The rule of thumb is that half of that goes to the cable and satellite companies, but for the sake of argument, assume the promoters negotiate a better deal and only have to give them 40 percent. That means that $117 million goes to the promotion. If they get a $30 million live gate [the record is $18.4 million], that boosts the gross to $147 million. Add in about $25 million for foreign rights fees, $15 million in sponsorship, $5 million for delayed broadcast rights and $2 million in closed circuit and $1 million in merchandising sales. That adds up to $195 million on the promoter side. Then you have to subtract the profit of the promoters, plus the expenses, and you can see, there simply isn’t that kind of money. That said, to address your question of whether either fighter is “scared,” the answer is completely, unequivocally no. It’s ridiculous.
Big fight in peril
If the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight does not happen in May, it will not happen this year, as the latter will be serving his jail sentence in the second half of 2012. If it does not happen this year, it will be more difficult to do in 2013, as Manny will be getting prepared for the May Philippine elections. It has also been planned that he will just have a farewell fight later in that year in the Philippines. Manny should thus insist to Arum that Arum put down his ego and find solutions instead of excuses to get it done in May 2012.
Phil, Mayweather was given a 90-day sentence Dec. 21. Since he’s served three days already, he must still serve 87. With time off for good behavior and jail overcrowding, etc., it’s likely he’d be released in 60 days or less. But even if he serves the full 87, he’d get out Aug. 26 if he reported June 1, as is the plan. That would give him more than enough time to prepare for a fight with Pacquiao in November or December. Pacquiao fought Oscar De La Hoya in December 2008 and then fought in November in each of the last three years. I agree that it would be better to get the fight done sooner, before something else happens, but it wouldn’t be ruled out in 2012 if it did not occur in May.
“We keep hearing Arum talking about all these mysterious investors, but it’s all just [expletive] to throw you reporters off the track. Why do you need investors for a fight that funds itself?” – Mayweather manager Leonard Ellerbe, dismissing discussions Arum has supposedly had with investors who want to finance a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
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