MANILA (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao is open to taking a smaller purse in a dream match-up with undefeated American Floyd Mayweather, the Philippines boxing hero’s business manager said Tuesday.
“The talks are already going on. It is more of what the fans want. It’s not about the pay (level). That’s the least of his concerns,” Pacquiao’s business manager Eric Pineda told AFP.
Pineda declined to discuss the amounts of money involved, but in 2012 there was speculation that a fight between the two could lead to the first $200 million purse in boxing history.
Pacquiao defeated Chris Algieri, another once-undefeated American boxer, in Macau on Sunday in a successful defense of his World Boxing Organization crown before throwing down the gauntlet to Mayweather, saying “It’s been a long time since I’ve been wanting this fight, it has to happen”.
Sunday’s fight saw Pacquiao, one of the world’s richest sportsmen, knock down Algieri six times, convincing fans that the Filipino, who turns 36 next month, remains in shape to face Mayweather, 37.
Mayweather potentially has more to lose in a fight against Pacquiao. He has a perfect 47-0 record and has won world titles at five different weights, but a defeat at the Filipino’s hands could blot that streak.
The two were long-time rivals as the “best pound-for-pound” boxer of their generation, but the dream fight has never materialized to the disappointment of the boxing world.
Mayweather, the world’s light middleweight champion, has previously demanded a bigger share of the fight purse as a condition for agreeing to any fight with Pacquiao.
Other conditions, including a blood test, have delayed any fight between the two despite anticipation of a huge payday for such a match.
In the meantime however, the Filipino intends to resume his other sporting interest Wednesday as playing coach for the Kia team in the Philippines’ competitive professional basketball league, Pineda said.
The pint-sized Pacquiao made a dismal pro ball debut last month, turning the ball over twice while failing to get off a shot in nearly seven minutes of action as his team’s starting shooting guard.
Despite his lack of top-notch basketball training or experience, the newly-created Kia team, owned by a business friend of Pacquiao, recruited the hugely famous pugilist as its playing coach in what was widely seen as a publicity gimmick.
“He will be in all Kia games,” said Pineda, adding that Pacquiao would be able to juggle his basketball duties with his other job, as an elected member of the country’s House of Representatives.