PACQUIAO-HATTON  TIFF  CALLED  OFF

MANILA,
JANUARY 24, 2009
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao Manny Pacquiao is not going to lose sleep over his failure to fight British superstar Ricky Hatton.

“Bale wala sa kanya (He doesn’t care),” said Pacquiao’s legal adviser, Fanklin Gacal, yesterday after it was announced all over the Internet that the May 2 fight between Pacquiao and Hatton is off.

Pacquiao, represented by Bob Arum of Top Rank, and Hatton, represented by Richard Schaefer of Golden Boys, failed to agree on how the huge purse, including the pay-per-view sales, would be divided.

“Wala na (It’s gone),” said Gacal who said he was in Pampanga with Pacquiao for some previous commitment.

“We will only go back to the negotiating table if the Hattons go back,” he added after the pride of Manchester turned down the latest offer from the Pinoy pound-for-pound champion.

Pacquiao demanded a guaranteed purse of $13 million and a 52-48 percent share of the rest or a guaranteed purse of $12 million and a 55-45 cut.

“We informed Bob Arum of this and he told us that the Hattons turned it down, too. We were told that it was non-acceptable. So wala nga. That’s it,” said Gacal.

Pacquiao, according to Gacal, is not too keen about looking for a new opponent for May 2, even if the names of Humberto Soto and Edwin Valero have already been mentioned.

“He may even rest for a while and he won’t care. Besides, Manny said he fought three big fights last year (as compared to 2007 when he only fought twice). He can use some rest,” Gacal said.

A fight with Hatton would have easily earned Pacquiao $12 million or a little more than what he got for destroying Oscar dela Hoya last December in Las Vegas.

But, as Gacal, said, the 30-year-old boxer doesn’t seem to be worried at all.

“The fight is off,” was Schaefer’s line spread all over the Internet right after Pacquiao failed to meet the deadline set by the Hattons for him to sign the contract calling for a 52-48 split and a guaranteed purse of $12 million.

Hatton was also to make as much.

Schaefer said he already cancelled a press tour that would have taken both fighters to the U.K. next week.

“I don’t know what he’s thinking. 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,” the Golden Boy CEO was quoted by the American press.

Schaefer said Hatton, the king of the 140-pound division, is now looking at the winner of the coming fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or even Dela Hoya.

“They (Hattons) said they won’t sit around anymore. They would like me to explore three fights they are interested in,” Schaefer added.

“Manny decided not to sign. He was unhappy with the terms. So I contacted Schaefer and I told him the situation and he acted accordingly, which means the fight is off. The suits can posture but it’s the fighters who have to go in the ring and fight. But I am not thrilled right now,” said Arum.

“I don’t know what really happened here but there are two things. One, Manny didn’t really want the fight, which I doubt. Secondly, we all know Manny is a gambler, a poker player. He probably figured if he was strong to the end, they would fold and they didn’t,” Arum told ESPN.com.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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