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Ricky Hatton's rejection of Pacquiao fight came down to the contract

Ricky HattonManny PacquiaoRichard Schaefer wanted to see a signed contract from Manny Pacquiao on his fax machine Wednesday morning.

When it wasn't there, and Pacquiao's promoter told him there was no indication it was coming, he made a major decision regarding the May 2 140-pound fight between his popular British fighter Ricky Hatton and pound-for-pound No. 1 Pacquiao that would've generated millions in revenue: "The fight is off," Schaefer said.

He canceled a press tour in Great Britain that was supposed to begin next week and started discussions with Hatton about future opponents, with the fighter urging Schaefer to keep the date scheduled on May 2 while moving the location to England's Wembley Stadium.

Among Hatton's preferred list of foes: Oscar De La Hoya.

De La Hoya appeared headed for retirement after a very sluggish showing while being beaten by Pacquiao Dec. 6 in Las Vegas, but this latest development may keep him in the ring.

"I'll talk to Oscar," said Schaefer, chief executive of De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. "I don't know what he'll do. We'll sit down and talk about it this week."

De La Hoya's in town for Saturday's Antonio Margarito-Shane Mosley welterweight title fight at Staples Center.

Hatton's other options would be the winner of next month's lightweight bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz, or even a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has put out feelers his retirement period will end shortly.

Meanwhile, Schaefer railed at Pacquiao for failing to sign a deal that would've been "the most lucrative fight of his career." Pacquiao two years ago was the subject of lawsuits after he backed out of a promotional contract he signed with De La Hoya after being given a briefcase of $250,000 cash at a Beverly Hills restaurant.

"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.

"Frankly, I'm disgusted at the behavior of Manny Pacquiao. He's a spoiled young kid who doesn't know how to behave."

-- Lance Pugmire   

Photo, far left: Ricky Hatton in early December. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Photo, left: Manny Pacquiao, a few days after beating Oscar De La Hoya. Credit: Jay Directo / AFP/Getty Images

 
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