Gamesmanship has been under way for some time in the Fight of the Century, and Floyd Mayweather ramped it up by suggesting Manny Pacquiao will be underpaid Saturday night.
That might seem absurd with both fighters potentially earning nine-figure gross windfalls from the welterweight blockbuster, but Mayweather seemed to infer that Pacquiao may not get all of the money he has been projected to earn.
“Financially, I don’t think Top Rank treated him right for this fight,” Mayweather said.
The Grand Rapids native, who fought for Top Rank from 1996-2006, long has contended that the promotional company is overcompensated from Pacquiao’s fights.
“I’m just saying, I don’t really know his (purse) number — I kind of know his number, but I don’t,” Mayweather said. “They said that, from what I hear, the money will be wired to him. You hear different things like that.
“But I don’t have anything against Bob (Arum). They run their business the way they run their business, I run my business the way I run my business.”
Arum said he plans to wire Pacquiao at least $50 million, minus 30 percent for tax withholding, on Monday, as part of their standard business arrangement. Otherwise, the Top Rank founder was not pleased with Mayweather’s remarks, which came during the fighter’s grand-arrival ceremony Tuesday afternoon at MGM Grand.
“Floyd should mind his own business,” Arum said. “I am not going to reduce this to a dialogue one way or the other with Floyd.
“You saw at the press conference that Manny had, there wasn’t one bad thing about Mayweather. We’re not going to say one bad thing about Mayweather, we’re not going to answer him back or so forth. He’s the master of trash talking. He’s not going to upset Manny Pacquiao. And I’m not going to respond to him.”
Mayweather and Pacquiao will fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena after more than five years of on-and-off negotiations.
The two breakthroughs in their talks this time were achieved through the direct involvement of CBS president Leslie Moonves in smoothing a number of sticking points, and a meeting between Mayweather and Pacquiao at the latter’s hotel room after a Jan. 27 NBA game in Miami.
Pacquiao is projected to earn in the range of $100 million to $120 million, with Mayweather at $150 million to $180 million.
Mayweather suggested Pacquiao’s projection is inflated and that if his opponent had jumped ship and worked directly with his team instead of Top Rank, “he might have actually made $100 million.”
“At the end of the day, I know what goes on behind the scenes in the sport of boxing,” Mayweather said. “Just like Saturday. You’ll see the difference in the paydays.”
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