Floyd Mayweather stripped of WBO title won from Pacquiao

Five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather has been stripped of the WBO welterweight belt won from Manny Pacquiao in May. The 38-year-old failed to pay the WBO a $200,000 (£128,000) sanctioning fee by the 3 July deadline.

Mayweather had been expected to relinquish the title by now, saying he planned to do so following his points victory over Pacquiao. Fellow American Timothy Bradley will now become the full belt holder. After Mayweather defeated Pacquiao, he had declared he would vacate all his titles in order to give younger fighters the chance to win belts.

“The WBO World Championship Committee is allowed no other alternative but to cease to recognize Mr Floyd Mayweather Jr as the WBO welterweight champion of the world and vacate his title.” said a statement on wboboxing.com. Mayweather, who still holds the WBA and WBC belts at welterweight, has until 20 July to appeal against the decision.

He is expected to stage one more fight in Las Vegas on 12 September, although he has yet to name the opponent.
The WBO created a vacant interim welterweight belt for the 27 June fight between Bradley and Jessie Vargas.


Pacquiao faces lawsuit for concealing information on his injury

A lawsuit has been filed against Manny Pacquiao seeking millions in damages after it was claimed he fraudulently concealed a shoulder injury before his defeat to Floyd Mayweather.

The clash was dubbed “Fight of the Century” but legal documents claim that by failing to go public with the injury, the Philippine icon and his camp violated the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The plaintiffs, both from Nevada, filed the suit in a US District Court in Las Vegas which names Pacquiao, his manager Michael Koncz, promotional company Top Rank and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum and president Todd duBoef.

According to court documents, the defendants “knew and had full knowledge and information that defendant Pacquiao had been seriously injured and was suffering from a torn rotator cuff”.

“Defendants further know that such injury would severely affect his performance,” the lawsuit said.

None of the defendants informed or apprised the public or even the Nevada Athletic Commission about the injury to defendant Pacquiao.”

After the fight, Pacquiao and Top Rank revealed the 36-year-old had been injured in training camp some three weeks earlier.

It has been revealed he could also face disciplinary action from Nevada boxing officials.

The Nevada state attorney general’s office is to investigate why Pacquiao ticked “No” a day before the fight on a commission questionnaire asking if he had a shoulder injury.

“We will gather all the facts and follow the circumstances,” said Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar.

“You want to make sure fighters are giving you up-to-date information.”

Pacquiao could be fined or suspended for not answering the question accurately on the form he filled out himself just before Friday’s weigh-in.


Pacquiao-Mayweather bout sets unpredictable pay-per-view figures

The potential pay-per-view television revenue for Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao’s blockbuster welterweight showdown with Floyd Mayweather is so stratospheric that with just four days to go, an actual figure is impossible to predict.

Stephen Espinoza, vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, said interest in the bout is unprecedented to a degree that the usual markers for predicting the number of purchases and revenue just don’t apply.

“Usually we get day by day updates of where the cable operators are in terms of their buys,” Espinoza told AFP. “I can compare Wednesday to prior Wednesdays in prior pay-per-views.

“In general, that’s fairly accurate. On this particular week, we’re seeing numbers that have no precedent — so encouraging and so massive that you really can’t extrapolate anything from them.”

Certainly Pacquiao-Mayweather, a fight more than five years in the making between the top pound-for-pound fighters of their generation, will shatter the records for pay-per-view purchases and — at a price in most markets of about $100 for a high-definition version — crush the record for PPV revenue.

It’s just a question of how much more the fight will garner than the record 2.48 million pay-per-view purchases for Mayweather’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya and the record pay-per-view revenue of $150 million set by Mayweather v Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2013.

“Do we think it’s a record-breaker? Absolutely,” Espinoza said. “Whether that’s 2.7 million buys or 3.2 I think both are possible but there’s no way to choose one or the other right now.”

More than 3 million buys could spell revenue to the camps of the two fighters near $200 million.

Television revenue is just one of the financial records the fight is set to break.

Anticipated live gate receipts of some $70 million dwarf the previous record for a Nevada fight, the $20 million for Mayweather-Alvarez.

Regardless of the outcome, each fighter could make more than $100 million, with Mayweather saying this week he expects to pocket $200 million.

The fight is one that boxing fans have craved for years — teased by the disintegration of talks in late 2009 and years of back-and-forth between the hostile camps ever since.

– Crossover appeal –

While the delay has purists grumbling that the bout comes too late, with each boxer past his prime, the will they-won’t they narrative has added to the fight’s crossover appeal.

“There is unquestionably a broader fan base that’s attracted by this fight,” Espinoza said. “Anecdotally we know this is attracting a lot of people who never ordered pay-per-view.”

The pay-per-view revenue is also coming from a wider range of countries — with 13 international pay-per-view territories.

“You’d have to go back to the Mike Tyson days to get near that figure,” Espinoza said, although he noted that back when Iron Mike loomed over the heavyweight landscape fewer countries even had the technology to distribute fights via pay-per-view.

The television production is a joint effort between rivals Showtime — which has a contract with Mayweather — and Pacquiao telecaster HBO.

Working out the rare deal between the two was just one of the hurdles to be overcome in making the fight, although such a joint effort is not unprecedented.

The model is similar to that used by the two networks in the 2002 fight between Lennox Lewis and Tyson.

– No free rides –

Not surprisingly, Showtime and HBO are doing everything they can to protect their asset.

Showtime this week filed a federal lawsuit in California targeting boxinghd.net and sportship.org, claiming the two internet sites are advertising free streaming of the bout.

In court documents, Showtime notes that boxinghd.net’s homepage touts, “If you can’t afford to buy tickets then simply watch Mayweather vs Pacquiao here. We will provide nothing but the freshest and the most reliable high quality live links.”

While the issue of on-line piracy isn’t limited to Saturday’s mega-fight, Espinoza said the efforts to protect the bout are “a multiple of what we’ve done before.”

He said the aims of the lawsuit are twofold.

“It’s eliminating these very active piracy sites and it sends a message that we’re very serious about it, we’re going to continue to pursue this all the way through and after the night of the fight.”

Photo Credits : AFP

TV exec made Mayweather-Pacquiao bout possible

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao meet Saturday in a fight many thought would never happen — but which came together thanks to the determination of US entertainment power player Leslie Moonves.

After years of false starts and finger-pointing, the twisting road to the spectacle set to shatter all boxing records for viewership and revenue wound through many locales, from the exclusive reaches of Beverly Hills to NBA courtside seats in Miami.

According to Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, Moonves — the chief executive of CBS Corporation — kept the train on the rails.

“It started when Les Moonves came to my house,” said Arum, the founder of Top Rank Promotions.

“He visited me on a couple of occasions to tell me that he wanted to make this fight happen.”

A fight between two of the most talented fighters of their generation — unbeaten American Mayweather and Filipino icon Pacquiao — seemed a no-brainer.

But despite the clamor of fans worldwide and the potential financial bonanza, contractual obstacles and personality conflicts long prevented the match-up from becoming a reality. Talks for a 2010 clash between the two foundered amid acrimony.

Fingers were pointed as to which fighter might be ducking the other as the parties squabbled over various issues — the last unresolvable difference a mutually acceptable pre-fight drug-testing protocol.

In the intervening years, the chances of scheduling the fight didn’t seem to improve.

At least back then, both fighters had a loose deal with telecaster HBO, but in 2013, Mayweather inked a six-fight, 30-month deal worth more than $200 million with Showtime — meaning the two fighters were now contracted to rival networks.

Arum has denied that lingering animosity between himself and Mayweather — who bought himself out of a Top Rank contract and now fights under the banner of his own Mayweather Promotions — played a role.

“I have no animosity with Floyd Mayweather,” Arum says. “Floyd has always remained a good friend. I have nothing whatsoever bad to say about Floyd as a person.”

Nevertheless, the two have often traded barbs in the media, and in 2013, Mayweather declared he would never work with Arum.

Between Pacquiao and Mayweather themselves, the scars of prior disputes remained, even after a 2012 out-of-court settlement put to rest Pacquiao’s lawsuit over Mayweather’s accusation that he doped on his way to his unprecedented eight world titles in eight weight divisions.

Despite the occasional Twitter tease, the needle didn’t seem to be moving until Moonves stepped in through the back door — introduced to Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach last October by a waiter at a Hollywood restaurant.

Moonves, whose CBS is the parent company of cable outlet Showtime, was leery but approached Arum.

“He wanted me to go to Manny and discuss with him the purse that would be acceptable,” Arum recalled.

“We had frequent dialogue. I felt confident that it was going to happen because Moonves would do whatever he could to make it happen.”

Moonves remained a go-between in the tortuous talks as one by one the hurdles were overcome.

“Both sides realized how important this fight would be,” Moonves told the Los Angeles Times. “There was a real desire on everyone’s part to get this done.”

Even the elements played a part — in January, winter storms stranded Pacquiao in Miami, where he had judged a beauty pageant.

The rabid basketball fan decided to take in a Miami Heat game, and came face to face with Mayweather at courtside.

The two agreed to a private meeting that Arum said was key to the deal.

“It wasn’t until the basketball game in Miami where Manny was convinced that Floyd wanted the fight,” he said.

In Miami, Pacquiao recalled, he let Mayweather know he would agree that the American was the “A” side and Pacquiao the “B”.

– Tensions linger –

As social media hummed with rumors, details were hammered out. Showtime and HBO came to terms on a joint production and re-broadcast rights.

But even the February 20 announcement of the fight didn’t put an end to all tensions.

The usual pre-fight trash talking from training camp was accompanied by more serious issues — the most threatening a dispute over precious ticket allocations to host venue the MGM Grand, Top Rank and Mayweather Promotions that was finally resolved less than a fortnight before the fight.

Pacquiao, whose concessions have included taking the lesser part of a 60-40 purse split, thinks it’s worth it.

“This fight is very important to me and in boxing history,” he said. “We don’t want to leave a question mark in the mind of boxing fans.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Mayweather vs Pacquiao tickets sold out in 1 minute

The much awaited and dubbed the most expensive boxing match in  history  between Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao had their ticket sold out in one minute after they were put on public sale online via ticket masters.com.

All the tickets were sold out including the ones going for  $7,500 approximately 700k !

Several people who tried to purchase the tickets  say they got the “No Tickets Left” graphic less than 20 seconds after it started.

So, if you want to be at the fight, you have to go to the secondary market … where seats are going for up to $80,000.

Image – TMZ


Mayweather-Pacquiao tickets to cost up to sh688,000

Tickets for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s long-awaited superfight will cost between $1,500 and $7,500, organizers said, but it is unclear how many will go on sale to the public.

Seats at the May 2 bout in Las Vegas promise to be one of the hottest tickets of the sporting decade, with the MGM Grand capacity limited to 16,800 people.

Many tickets are expected to be distributed to high-rollers and A-list celebrities desperate to be seen at a fight billed hyperbolically on Wednesday as the biggest bout in boxing history.

The clamor for tickets makes it likely that the number actually going on general sale is relatively small compared to other fights held at the venue.

Interest in May’s bout was reflected in the 600 media who attended Wednesday’s Los Angeles press conference between the two boxers, the only press event scheduled before the week of the fight.

The fight is also likely to smash pay-per-view records, with cable networks expected to charge around $100 per household for access to the bout.

“It transcends boxing for sure and will probably transcend sport,” said television executive Ken Hershman of HBO Sports, describing it as the “single largest boxing event of all time.”

Veteran fight promoter Bob Arum said the showdown would be a rare chance for boxing to shine on a global stage.

“Major events like the Super Bowl or even the Olympics get worldwide attention,” Arum said.

“It’s been rare that worldwide attention focuses on a boxing match. Believe me, the entire world will be watching this great event unfold.”

Arum last month said he expected the fight to be the most lucrative in history.

“I would say that Joe Frazier is turning over in his grave,” Arum said in an interview. “And Muhammad Ali is looking on in disbelief.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Boxer Manny Pacquiao to sell mansion after neighbours complain

The Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao is planning to sell his $9m (£5.7m) Manila mansion after receiving complaints from neighbours that his visitors are always wearing “just shorts and slippers” and making the neighbourhood look bad.

Pacquiao’s five-storey, three-bedroom home is located in Manila’s upmarket Makati neighbourhood, where the capital’s “old rich” drive luxury cars, employ housekeepers and gardeners, and entertain guests next to glittering swimming pools.

But the eight-time world title-winning fighter and congressman regularly sees constituents who come to his house asking for small donations and financial assistance. A former fish vendor who emerged from poverty to become one of the world’s richest athletes, Pacquiao bills himself as a “man of the masses” and says he would rather buy a new home than succumb to the wants of his neighbours.

“I may be as rich as some of them here, but my lifestyle remains the same and so is my heart,” the 35-year-old told Agence France-Presse. “I am just a simple man. I will never change that.”

Pacquiao bought the house for $9m in 2011 and hopes to make a profit on it after completing a number of renovations. The mansion is just one of five that Pacquiao reportedly owns, along with a number of expensive cars and a hometown residence in the southern Philippines with a boxing-glove-shaped pool.

While the boxer has said he is keen to continue seeing his constituents in a new neighbourhood, local media reported that he may also be hoping to use the proceeds of the mansion’s sale to help pay off about 2.2b pesos (£31m) that he owes in income tax.

Pacquiao claims to have apologised to his neighbours for upsetting them, saying some were understanding about the situation