Roach: 'I'll talk to Manny, I'll get him on board'
Manny Pacquiao's Hollywood-based trainer, Freddie Roach, told me today in a secretive voice: "Manny does what I say."
Since Roach says he believes it's in Pacquiao's best interest to agree to fight England's Ricky Hatton in a May 2 fight in which both men will split the profits evenly, it's a strong bet Pacquiao will sign the contract Thursday as scheduled and we'll have a 140-pound super-fight coming as planned in Las Vegas.
"I'll talk to Manny, I'll get him on board, and we'll get this fight signed," Roach told The Times. "I believe there's two good fights for Manny this year: the first is Hatton, the second is [Floyd] Mayweather Jr., and it's not a good idea to change that order."
In an accompanying video, Roach makes those points, and says the trump card in swaying Pacquiao back from his attorney's stand that Pacquiao may not fight unless he gets a 60% split to Hatton's 40% is that Hatton will now evenly share United Kingdom pay-per-view money, which was a bonanza in late 2007 when Hatton was knocked out by Mayweather.
Hatton then got all of those dollars, and his promoter Richard Schaefer told me late Wednesday night the 1 million U.K. buys generated about $20 million.
"I worked very hard on the Hattons to get a 50-50 deal, it was a very, very difficult thing for me to convince them to put that money into the pot," Schaefer said.
"Pacquiao brings in a lot less money from the Philippines, about 10% of that. They have a lot of people watching, but not a lot of money. Pacquiao's people had no idea how much money that [U.K. pay-per-view] money was.
"Manny, unfortunately, has a lot of people around him who are not the smartest people in the world. He's the best pound-for-pound fighter in the ring, but out of the ring, his team is not even close to the best pound-for-pound."
Schaefer will fly home to Los Angeles from a business trip in New York Thursday morning, and he said he expected to hear upon landing that Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, has secured a signed deal from the Filipino star.
"I hope we can say it's signed, sealed, delivered," Schaefer said. "If not, we have a problem."
-- Lance Pugmire