Could Pacquiao and Khan Have Been Catfished?
By: William Holmes
Noun: A freshwater or marine fish with whiskerlike barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.
Verb: Lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona
MTV’s popular catfish television show has been on air for six years and is extremely popular and shows no signs of slowing down.
This show highlights unsuspecting and naïve romantics falling in love with an online persona that’s often being controlled by someone that is not who the victim thinks they are. The popularity of the show lies in the drama and heartbreak that is shown when the lie is ultimately revealed to the heartbroken Romeo.
The naivety of these victims is hard to believe, and the desperation of these victims makes it hard for them to see past the smoke and mirrors of an obvious con.
Which leads us to the latest talk of Manny Pacquiao facing Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Khan was expressed his desire to fight a big fight in the UAE since the mega fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather in 2015, and has established financial connections to that area as evident by a recent MMA gym he opened in Dubai.
When Pacquiao and Khan originally announced their fight on social media it was scheduled to take place on April 23rd, with no pay per view partner or network partnership announced.
If Pacquiao and Khan, as well as Pacquiao’s long time advisor Michael Koncz, are announcing that the parties have come to an agreement, surely an official announcement will soon follow.
But there’s one man who hasn’t confirmed the fight is official, and he’s the only man that can make it a reality.
That man is Bob Arum.
He’s gone as far as to call the reports of the fight “total and complete bu****t”. The short time to the date of an April fight would make it nearly impossible to make it with the proper promotional muscle. Reports have been put out there that the fight has since been moved back to May 20th.
But even that seems questionable. A fight in May would require Pacquiao to go back on his promise to not miss any sessions in the Filipino senate due to boxing, and Ramadan the Muslim holy month, begins on May 26th.
So why hasn’t Bob Arum given his blessing for a fight in the UAE? The likely answer is money, or the lack of guaranteed money.
When Pacquiao fought Mayweather he made an estimated career high of $120 million. But his purses since then have been decreasing in size. His third fight with Timothy Bradley netted him an estimated $20 million, and his fight with Jesse Vargas only earned him a guarantee of $4 million, with a percentage of Pay Per View Sales added on top of it. He made more than $4 million for his fight with Vargas, but nowhere near the money he made with Mayweather and still likely less than what he made for Bradley.
Pacquiao was rumored to face Jeff Horn before the talks of a fight with Khan emerged, but his purse was only reported to be a guaranteed $7 million, with an unrealistic shot at high Pay Per View sales.
Amir Khan’s value is also no longer what it used to be. It was rumored that Khan made upwards of $13 million when he fought Canelo Alvarez; but he was brutally knocked out for the third time in his career.
Many consider Khan to be damaged goods.
Khan’s financial prospects in the sport of boxing have decreased even further when his longtime rival Kell Brook officially signed to fight Errol Spence Jr.
Pacquiao’s declining value must be of great concern to him and his team, and to Arum. But Bob Arum has been one of boxing’s most successful promoters for decades for good reason: he knows how to make money, and knows the difference between a good deal and a bad one.
Much like the hopeless romantic that gets so easily suckered by a fake online profile, Khan and Pacquiao appear to be desperate in their search for another big payday.
The question remains as to who is putting up the money for this big time fight to be made in the UAE? The logistics alone of putting a major title fight in the Middle East would be extremely difficult, and the time zone difference would have a negative effect on pay per view sales.
Bob Arum is a businessman, and he knows a good deal when he sees it and is willing to jump on it if it presents itself. The guaranteed money must be missing from this deal for Arum to refute reports of the fight not being made. It’s hard to imagine Arum turning down this fight if there was real money to be made for all parties involved.
Where’s the money coming from?
Does Khan have a Middle Eastern Prince in his back pocket that’s willing to finance the fight regardless of the financial risks involved? A third party has to be involved for Khan and Pacquiao to get the guaranteed money $30 million they think they’ll receive.
Pacquiao and Khan appear to believe that this group is willing and able to guarantee the purses they seek, but until Arum announces the fight as being official…
Pacquiao and Khan might have been catfished.