Official Statement From Manny Pacquiao
"Yeah, bring it on. I definitely want to do it (fight Manny Pacquiao). As a champion, what are we doing in the fight game for?" —Ricky Hatton interview, right after beating Paulie Malignaggi, Nov. 22, 2008.
Article posted on 22.01.2009
GENERAL SANTOS CITY—In the new age of Barack Obama and the post-Oscar Dela Hoya generation of boxing where equal opportunity and fair play are now the norm, Ricky Hatton's chief negotiator Richard Schafer apparently is still living in the past.. The Swiss banker-turned CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, has blocked a potential mega-fight with pound-for-pound boxing champion Manny Pacquiao by acting on emotion and past personal gripes against the Filipino spitfire rather than dealing on the merits of the fight and by not giving what is rightly due the four-time, four-division champion.
Schafer, whose boss boxer Dela Hoya has been soundly beaten by Pacquiao in eight, one-sided rounds last December 6, 2008 before he quit on his stool in a classic "no mas" fashion, was visibly irked by Pacquiao's non-signing of a contract deemed onerous and unfair by the Filipino.
"Frankly, I'm disgusted at the behavior of Manny Pacquiao. He's a spoiled young kid who doesn't know how to behave," said Schafer, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, right after learning that Pacquiao did not budge from his previous stand and even called the bluff of the Golden Boy outfit.
"I don't know what he's thinking," Schaefer said. "What a waste of time, money and effort. Am I surprised he's changed his mind? No. He did it to me two years ago. We had booked the planes, the hotels, printed the press kits for the press tour. It was all ready to go, a big production.
A disgusted Pacquiao read the unsavory comments in the internet. "I find Schafer's actions and words too aristocratic. He's the one who is acting childish. He is not professional and civil enough to give merits to the negotiating table," said Pacquiao in Tagalog.
Pacquiao expressed dismay that Schafer's patience was unusually thin, especially with regards to dealing with a projected million-dollar fight. Pacquiao also noted the lies and undue pressure that they have been peddling just to force him to sign the contract which was a little short of expectations.
"They were quoted as saying that if I do not sign their contract, they already have offers for them to fight in the British Isles with 80,000 people watching. Now, it is obvious that they were just bluffing. Now, they are saying, they will fight Dela Hoya. Then, they are also calling out Floyd Mayweather. I say, Schafer is a bad businessman," said Pacquiao.
"I hope they get the same or a better deal when they face Mayweather, who beat and knocked them out in 2007. I hope they get to fight Dela Hoya and also get the same or better deal. Hatton's last fight against Malignaggi wasn't a pay-per-view success. Not to make a big deal out of it, Hatton also faced a Juan Lazcano who was no longer in his prime, previous to that fight," added Pacquiao.
"I want to fight Ricky Hatton if the terms are right and fair. Modesty aside, I did not become the best pound-for-pound fighter by fighting patsies on my way to the top. I beat Oscar Dela Hoya when he said he was still on top of his game. I proved I can fight at any weight level and I won two different titles in two different divisions, also, last year. Now, I say to Ricky Hatton, king of the 140 pound division, 'Let's get it on,' without the middlemen. You called me out, now I say we fight."
It should be recalled that Schafer and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum have been through this sort of drama when Pacquiao, the odds-on underdog who was not given a slight chance to win, dealt with De La Hoya. Pacquiao eventually accepted a 68-32 deal in De La Hoya's favor.
"It's unfortunate and not uncommon for fighters to make these kinds of decisions," Schaefer said. "When you beat the man, you think you are the man. Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and as his co-promoter (with a small percentage) we are proud of him. But he thinks by beating Oscar that he is Oscar and he is not Oscar. It's unbelievable. Manny is losing a huge, huge payday."
"What Schafer failed to consider is the fact that I am not fighting Dela Hoya in this match. There is no more rematch," added Pacquiao. "Now, they have to put their facts right."
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