Manny Pacquiao, above, is so eager to secure a super-fight with Floyd Mayweather… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)
Manny Pacquiao is now saying he will accept just 45% of the total purse in an anticipated super-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. next year.
“Win or lose, I’ll take 45%,” Pacquiao told his publicist Friday in Mexico City. “Floyd can have top billing, he can be introduced in the ring first or last.
“He can wear my trunks. I don’t care. I just want to get him in the ring and make the fight.”
Pacquiao first said during an ESPN appearance Thursday that he was willing to take the 45% cut.
Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, tried to clarify to The Times on Friday that the boxer was willing to accept a deal in which the winner would receive 55% and the loser gets 45%. That’s the same deal Koncz was extending to Mayweather in the spring.
Yet Pacquiao told publicist Fred Sternburg on Friday that he would take the flat 45% purse regardless of the outcome. Pacquiao has previously said he’d also submit to drug testing up to “the day of the fight.”
“I don’t know what more he can do,” Sternburg said, as Pacquiao and his Dec. 8 opponent Juan Manuel Marquez appeared before an estimated crowd of 20,000 in Mexico to promote their fourth fight Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In his Monday appearance in Beverly Hills, Pacquiao said he was more confident than ever that a Mayweather deal can be struck in 2013.
“I hope that the fight with Mayweather will be close, to give the fans the fight they want,” Pacquiao said.
When pressed why he felt so confident, Pacquiao just grinned and said, “It’s hard to say,” with Koncz then interrupting to say, “Secret.”
Part of it could be the Pacquiao camp’s hope that striking a co-promotion deal with Mayweather’s associate, rapper 50 Cent, could inspire goodwill that leads to finally finding agreement in a negotiation that has failed in the past over drug testing, purse splits and personal issues.
50 Cent has worked to establish a fight promotion company named after Mayweather’s own title for his entourage, the Money Team.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum has also praised 50 Cent’s business sense and personality, part of that being the wishful thinking that the rapper would assert more influence on Mayweather than Arum’s rival promoter, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy, and longtime nemesis Al Haymon, Mayweather’s manager.
“You can speak to 50 in a reasonable way, and he talks back without the insults of calling me a nasty old man,” said Arum, a reference to Schaefer’s recent dig in The Times.
Schaefer has expressed confidence Mayweather will continue to retain Golden Boy for some promotional work. They’ve worked together on every fight since Mayweather defeated Oscar De La Hoya by split-decision in 2007 – the most lucrative fight in history.
Additionally, it’s unclear how tight the friendship of Mayweather and 50 Cent is at the moment. Attempts to reach Mayweather and his advisor Leonard Ellerbe have been unsuccessful.