JANUARY 16, 2009
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - At least on this one, boxer Manny Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum are not on the same page.

Pacquiao, the biggest star in boxing today, yesterday stood firm on a 60-40 split with Ricky Hatton, of course to his favor, just after Arum announced that all’s well at 50-50.

“Hindi ako papayag sa 50-50 (I won’t agree to a 50-50),” said Pacquiao last night from Gen. Santos City, saying he feels he deserves more than what is being offered to him.

Hatton, the pride of Manchester, said he will only fight Pacquiao and stake his IBO light-welterweight crown (140 lbs) on May 2 in Las Vegas if he gets 50 percent of everything.

Arum is amenable to this. Pacquiao is not.

“Hindi puwede (That can’t be),” said Pacquiao over the phone.

“I’m giving Hatton until the first week of February to agree to 60-40,” he added.

“Manny is not accepting what’s being presented on the table. He’s staying firm at 60-40. Fifty-fifty is not acceptable,” said Pacquiao’s lawyer Franklin Gacal.

He said Hatton only draws huge pay-per-view sales from England when he’s fighting a boxer the caliber of Oscar dela Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Pacquiao.

“But against Paul Malignaggi (last Nov. 22) did he do just 200,000 (PPV buys)? That’s why it can’t be 50-50,” said Gacal.

“Otherwise, Manny will no longer be interested in fighting Hatton,” added one of his advisers Mike Koncz later on as he got hold of the phone.

Earlier in the day, Arum said it was just a matter of time before the Pacquiao-Hatton contract is signed.

Arum said that after a day of confusion about money matters, negotiations for the May 2 bout looked rosy as before.

“There was a lot of confusion about why we did 50-50, but everyone now understands why this is a good deal. This thing is going to happen,” Arum told the LA Times.

“Yesterday was disarray. Today, everything’s back in order,” he added.

The negotiations came to a halt when Gacal said they want a 60-40 share of everything or they will look at someone else.

This seemed to have infuriated Arum since he had already made an agreement with the Hatton people and Golden Boy Promotions for an even 50-50 sharing.

Arum gave Pacquiao until yesterday to make up his mind, or the fight goes out of the window. He even said he couldn’t “care less” if Hatton decided to drop the fight.

Arum yesterday said Pacquiao’s trusted men, Wakee Salud, Koncz and Gacal, are back “on board” and he sees no problem with them making Pacquiao sign the contract.

“By tomorrow, I’ll have a signed contract,” Arum told the LA Times.

Arum made it clear that Pacquiao, now considered the face of boxing, would get 50 percent of the pay-per-view sales in Britain, a large cut “attributable to the star from Manchester.”

Then Hatton will get 50 percent of the live gate. There was no word regarding the guaranteed purse of the fighters, but at the end of the day they will both make more than in their previous fights.

Arum said when Mayweather, then the pound-for-pound champion, fought Hatton in December of 2007, the American champion did not get anything from the British PPV sales.

Arum, in a chat with boxing chronicler Michael Marley, said there’s no Plan B if the fight goes down the drain.

“What’s Plan B here? I don’t see one unless you talk about Manny fighting Humberto Soto for $2 million,” said Arum, adding that Pacquiao will get more than the $10 million he received for facing Oscar dela Hoya.

“Look, Manny himself was in the loop about splitting all the money 50-50 from the Hatton bout. They didn’t want us in on the British TV money but I battled for it and everything goes to the bottom line for a 50-50 split. I got Manny 50-50 all around,” Arum told Marley.

“This is why I think Manny will shortly agree to the 50-50,” he said. “It’s so much money. He is getting 50 percent in this fight where he got only 32 percent against Oscar (who got 68 percent of everything).”

“Nobody with any halfway sense would tell Manny not to take the fight and the 50-50 deal,” added Arum, the master of boxing promotions.

PBA:  Racela distraught but hopeful SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin Henson Updated January 16, 2009 12:00 AM

San Miguel Beer point guard Olsen Racela was clearly disappointed – and disgusted, too – when PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios made known his decision to suspend him for a game during a face-to-face meeting at the league head office in Libis last Monday.

It was understandable why Racela was so upset. He’d missed only two games since high school and both sit-outs were because of illness. A suspension due to a flagrant foul-penalty two was unimaginable in the career of one of the league’s most wholesome stars.

For nearly an hour, Barrios explained to Racela why the suspension was non-negotiable. They were in the video room accompanied only by supervisor of officials Ramil Cruz and a technician who worked the replay machine. The sequence where Racela was called for a flagrant foul-penalty two was repeatedly shown on the TV monitor – at his request.

Surely, there was no intention to hurt Barangay Ginebra’s Jay-Jay Helterbrand and that was Racela’s argument in appealing for a reprieve. But Barrios said his hands were tied because of the PBA rule that stipulates a one-game suspension for a player under the “landing spot” rule.

The suspension, however, isn’t automatic. League officials reserve the right to waive the suspension pending a review of the situation.

* * *

Barrios explained that for a suspension to be waived, three elements must be ascertained. One, the defensive player moved sideways, not facing up. Two, the defensive player was in an airborne position so that he could not establish his landing spot. And three, the offensive player leaned forward on his shot.

Barrios said the three elements were missing in Racela’s situation.

However, he mentioned that in Paul Artadi’s case where he was thrown out for sticking his foot in Don Dulay’s landing spot during the Ginebra-Rain or Shine game last Dec. 25, the three elements were established. Artadi was spared a suspension.

Racela’s incident happened with 8:59 left in the third period of San Miguel’s do-or-die game against Ginebra at the Cuneta Astrodome last Sunday. Helterbrand went up for a three-point shot and landed with Racela’s foot in the space. Racela was in a vertical position and not in motion.

Barrios recalled that it was Racela himself who once asked during a previous conversation, if the penalty could be modified on accidental contact.

“We’re certain that in many cases, there was no intent to hurt or cause contact but a rule is a rule and we don’t mean to cast doubt on a player’s good reputation,” said Barrios. “We know Olsen to be a role model. It’s just that in that incident with Jay-Jay, his foot was in the landing area and whether it was accidental or not was beside the point.”

PBA technical consultant Romy Guevara said league officials carefully reviewed the game tape if Racela’s foul had the three elements in Artadi’s case and found none, making it an automatic one-game suspension.

“We can’t judge a player,” said Guevara. “We can’t read a player’s mind. We make a call purely based on what we see, on what is the action on the floor.”

* * *

Two other players who were ejected on the same infraction this conference and suspended a game were Air21’s J. C. Intal and Sta. Lucia Realty’s Marlou Aquino. Intal stepped into Sta. Lucia guard Ryan Reyes’ landing spot while Aquino’s foot got in the way of the Elasto Painter’s Jay-R Reyes.

“We’re not in a position to judge if there was malicious intent,” said Barrios. “Officials make a call based on an action, not on intention.”

Barrios said it was San Miguel Beer governor Ely Capacio who pushed for the upgrading of the “landing spot” penalties for no contact from a technical foul to a flagrant foul-penalty one and for contact from a flagrant foul-penalty one to a flagrant foul-penalty two.

“We realize that contact may be minimal or major but we can’t be judgmental in that regard,” said Barrios. “If there’s contact, no matter how slight as in brushing the tip of the feet, the call is automatically a flagrant foul-penalty two.”

But Barrios said after the conference, he will convene the technical group to discuss whether the suspension on a flagrant foul-penalty two may be waived if there is no dire consequence on the action. An example of a dire consequence was when Alaska’s Jeffrey Cariaso was called for a flagrant foul-penalty two on Ginebra’s Ronald Tubid and it led to a sit-out for several weeks to heal a twisted ankle. An example of a no dire consequence was Racela’s foul on Helterbrand.

Racela, at 38 the league’s oldest player, missed Game 1 of San Miguel’s semifinal series against Talk ‘N’ Text last Wednesday to serve the suspension. He’ll be back in harness for Game 2 starting 5 this afternoon.

Without Racela, the Beermen absorbed a 129-100 beating from the Tropang Texters. Racela, who turned pro with Purefoods in 1993 and joined San Miguel in 1997, hopes the series will be squared after Game 2 where he is primed to lead the Beermen to a rebound win.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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