LOS ANGELES, California, February 22- Manny Pacquiao says the pieces were falling into place for a world title fight with Floyd Mayweather until the American boxer tried to low-ball him on the split of the pay-per view revenue.
Pacquiao said he called Mayweather personally to try to broker a deal for a world championship fight and thought they had an agreement until Mayweather brought up the pay per view.
Mayweather said he would give Pacquiao a $40 million lump-sum payment if Pacquiao agreed to let Mayweather keep the pay per view earnings for himself.
“It was embarrassing to me,” Pacquiao said Tuesday. “He was trying to take advantage of me. It is clear he didn’t want to fight.”
Some experts have estimated that the pay per view could be around $160 million.
Pacquiao and Mayweather have tried several times to get a contract signed but it has been scuttled for a variety of reasons, including disagreements over blood testing and the share of the purse.
“I called Floyd and told him that we need to make this fight happen,” Pacquiao said at The Beverly Hills Hotel. “I said he could have whatever he wants, blood testing, 50/50 split and he said ‘Oh, well. I will give you what you want.’ Then he mentioned the pay per view.”
For now, Pacquiao and the unbeaten Mayweather have lined up other opponents with speculation that the mega fight could happen later in the year if it comes off at all.
Pacquiao is scheduled to face American Timothy Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for Pacman’s World Boxing Organization welterweight belt.
Mayweather is set to fight Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto on May 5 for Cotto’s World Boxing Association super welterweight title at the same venue.
Paquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said they are not taking Bradley lightly but it is hard not to get excited about a possible upcoming mega fight against Mayweather.
“If both (Pacquiao and Mayweather) come off with good wins it will be a step in the right direction,” Roach said Tuesday. “That is the match everyone in the world wants to see.”
Bradley was one of several fighters in the mix as a possible Pacquiao opponent after Mayweather fell through.
Bradley boasts a record of 28-0 with 12 knockouts. Pacquiao, 54-3-2 with 38 knockouts, hasn’t lost since March 2005 and is considered the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
But Pacquiao was less than dominant as he struggled to a majority points decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in November.
Bradley and Pacquiao kicked off their promotional tour Tuesday at The Beverly Hills Hotel. They smiled as they posed for photos together and Pacquiao then lightheartedly borrowed a camera and took pictures of Bradley in his boxing pose.
Joking aside, Roach said he expects Pacquiao to be ready to knock Bradley out.
“I don’t want him to be compassionate,” Roach said. “I want him to knock people out. Manny can’t be a nice guy and try to touch gloves in the ring with him.”
Roach said Bradley is more than just a replacement fighter and that they want to hand him the first loss of his career while he is in his prime.
“It is nice to fight a fighter who is undefeated and not worried about losing that 0 on his record,” Roach said.
Bradley, of Palm Springs, California, is coming off an eight-round knockout victory over ex-world champ Joel Casamayor.
The 28-year-old Bradley said he plans to take the fight to Pacquiao. He won’t make the same mistakes as recent Pacquiao opponents Joshua Clottey and Shane Moseley who were booed because they talked a good fight but didn’t back it up once they got in the ring with eight division world champion Pacquiao.
“They were older and older boxers don’t take chances like young fighters do,” Bradley said.
“I don’t have a lot of miles on me like Manny. If I am going out then I am going out flaming. He is going to have to knock me out. Manny is going to have to kill me to stop me.”
Pacquiao will travel to New York for another news conference Thursday then fly back to the Philippines where he is a member of Congress.
Pacquiao has also divested himself of some bad habits, selling a casino he owned and getting rid of the roosters he kept for cock fighting in his native Philippines.
“Manny got a lot of distractions out of his life,” Roach said. “He sold all his cocks for fighting, doesn’t gamble, doesn’t drink and he and his wife are getting along.”