By Bryanna Fissori
Previously Boxing Insider reported that Zindsi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, was offering a minimum purse of $25 million each to Many Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38ko) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0-0, 25ko) to secure a bout in South Africa in celebration of her father’s birthday. That number has apparently been doubled.
Manny Pacquiao with Zindsi Mandela in Ny
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
“A country that I won’t name offered us $100 million to bring the Mayweather fight there,” Pacquiao’s Canadian advisor, Michael Koncz explained to abs-cbnNEWS.com. “So we, in turn, offered $50 million to Mayweather as a guarantee.”
It is unknown whether the offering country was in-fact South Africa or somewhere in the Middle East. Both are likely suspects and there could be others. What is known is that not only did Mayweather decline the offer, but according to Koncz, made a counter demand for the entire $100 million, meaning that if the long- anticipated fight was to happen Pacquiao would be in the ring for free. (This article will not delve into speculation of fear of defeat, disgrace or bodily harm . . . though there are plenty of others that will.)
The $50 million purse is already the largest guaranteed purse in boxing history, but the high price should come as no surprise considering the constant hype of this match-up. In 2007 Mayweather defeated Oscar De La Hoya in a split decision. De La Hoya received $52 million for the match-up, but that number is post pay-per-view payout. Mayweather received $25 million for that bout. The previous record for highest boxing purse was $33 million for Evander Holyfield against Mike Tyson in 1997.
Mayweather has been inactive for nearly a year. Meanwhile Pacquiao has continued to build his reputation and record while becoming a house hold name for even the most casual sports fan. Mayweather’s last bout was in May of 2010 against “Sugar” Shane Mosley which he won by decision. Pacquiao faced Mosley earlier this month with the same result.
The $50 million offered would undoubtedly cover Mayweather’s $3.4 million tax debt to the IRS that is overdue from 2009, though this isn’t the competitor’s first round with the IRS. He previously owed $5.6 million for 2007 taxes and $6.1 million by 2008 which resulted in a lien on his house and a payment plan.
It is commonly believed that the IRS issues are what drove Mayweather out of his 2008 retirement (his second retirement) at age 31, in which he announced that he was “bored” with the sport. Regardless of his level of enthusiasm, he re-entered the ring in September of 2009 to face Juan Manuel Márquez who he defeated in an ununanimous decision. Mayweather Jr. had a $10 million guarantee for the fight trumping the $3.2 million for Márquez, though Mayweather did sacrifice $600,000 to his competitior for weighing in two pounds heavy for the bout.
Upon entering 2008, Mayweather asserted in an interview with that he would be a billionaire by the end of the year. In a subsequent interview in Mayweather’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, his father famously disagreed, “How can he tell all the people in Grand Rapids he’s a billionaire?” Floyd Mayweather Sr. said. “He won’t be a billionaire in a billion years. Mark my words, someday he’ll be running through the streets of Grand Rapids broke.”
The IRS isn’t the only trouble the competitor is facing. Many would contend that just as intimidating as the thought of entering the ring with Pacquiao, if not more menacing, is the mound of litigation pending against Mayweather.
Mayweather recently postponed a hearing scheduled for late last month regarding charges of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris. Other charges in the case include felony counts of grand larceny, coercion and robbery. Allegations also include stealing her cell phone and threatening two of their children. If convicted on all counts Mayweather could face up to 34 years in prison. The hearing has been moved to July 29.
The possibility of prison makes the misdemeanor charges Mayweather faces for battery during an altercation with a security guard seem less severe though they are not to be taken lightly. The trial for this case was also postponed and the Las Vegas Justice Court recently set the new trial date for September 1, which means that the recent hype about Mayweather entering the ring against Victor Ortiz on September 17 is not realistic even if there were negotiations pending.
Mayweather is also a defendant in an assault case which arose in January at a Las Vegas nightclub when one of Mayweather’s bodyguards allegedly assaulted a bouncer after he requested to see their identification at the door.
But that’s not all folks. Mayweather still faces charges of defamation against would-be opponent Pacquiao for his statements implying steroid use by the competitor. As previously reported by Boxing Insider, Mayweather originally asserted his contention that Pacquiao uses drugs as a reason for not facing him, but if fans ever believed that to be the truth it is unlikely that they do now with $50 million on the line, and that doesn’t take into account pay-per-view numbers.
While Mayweather spends his time evading the courts to the best of his ability, Pacquiao will continue his training and serving as a member of congress.
Pending the success of Mayweather’s legal counsel, one thing is for sure; whether it is $50 million or $100 million, this fight, should it ever happen, is not going to be cheap.