Boxing


Manny Pacquiao: Controversy still looms over a pair of boxing gloves

11.04.05 - By Eric Rineer: It has been more than three weeks since super featherweights Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao squared before a sellout crowd of 14,623 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. These warriors displayed the heart and courage that makes boxing such a fantastic sport to watch. They battled for 12 grueling rounds but, in the end, the judges awarded the bout to Morales. All three judges were in agreement: 115-113. Morales improved to 48-2. Pacquiao dropped to 39-3-2.

The saddest part about the March 19 fight, however, is the controversy that has taken place over a pair of boxing gloves, and the potential lawsuit that Pacquiao will file against his promoter, Murad Muhammad.

The following is a summary of what has occurred and, unless you’ve been sleeping in a cave, you know this story all too well:

--- Pacquiao and Morales each made $1.75 million for the fight according to figures released by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Thursday.

-- Pacquiao has alleged that Muhammad now owes him a percentage of pay-per-view revenues. Pacquiao reportedly will file a case against Muhammad seeking his share. Shelly Finkel, Pacquiao’s manager, did not offer a timetable.

-- Pacquiao earned the biggest purse of his career on March 19.

-- Finkel and Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach are irate about Muhammad’s decision to allow the fighters to use Winning gloves, which are favored by Morales. Pacquiao prefers to wear Reyes gloves, which have less padding. Roach said his fighter was never consulted about the gloves before the contract was signed.

I spoke to Finkel and Muhammad several times over the past week and here are excerpts from those interviews:

Finkel:

“Manny got $1.75 million but none of the pay-per-view revenues. Based on our calculations, Murad made more than Pacquiao. It’s ridiculous.

“There’s no place in the promoter’s contract for him to decide which gloves (a fighter) wears.

“Manny is a puncher. That’s his big advantage. Reyes are puncher’s gloves. He lost on all three cards 115-113. Don’t you think if he would have used his (normal) gloves, he could have won one more round? If he’d have won one more round it’s a draw.

“People can say what they want, but the fact is Manny’s taxes have not been paid for years… I was not involved with Manny when most of this began. I came into the picture on Feb. 1.”


Muhammad:

“Manny’s a millionaire as I promised him. We lost but we put up a magnificent fight that shows I’m a good promoter. If you look at Manny Pacquiao’s Web site, they’re slaying me!

“There was no 40-percent verbal contract that was offered to the boxers.

“We (Muhammad and Bob Arum) were working in the dark. We had no blueprint… HBO gave us $2.7 million the night of the fight as a courtesy. That’s for our expenses. HBO advanced us the money but we have to reimburse them if we don’t make over $2.7 million (in pay-per-view revenue).”

“Pay-per-view takes 30 to 60 days before we even see (the money). We don’t have the figures nor do we have any money.”

“They’re going to sue me? Sue me for what? They have no jurisdiction, no paperwork, no verbal contract. It’s all trickery, all con.”

“Freddie Roach made a thing about the gloves on national TV. They cried about the gloves. Do you really think the gloves were a difference to me?”

“Freddie Roach was so egotistical (during the fight). He didn’t even move out of the way of the cutman.”

“Up until 25 minutes before the fight, Freddie’s friends, cousins and other people were coming into Manny’s locker room asking him for autographs.”

“I’ll be in Vero Beach this weekend. See you, then.”


To reach Eric Rineer, contact him at ericrineer@hotmail.com

Article posted on 10.04.2005



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