Bob Arum is offering to promote a Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight, under normal promotional terms, including a share of Mayweather's money. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Well, it just keeps on coming. Bob Arum tells The Philippine Star that he's willing to make a direct deal with Floyd Mayweather Jr for a late May fight with Manny Pacquiao, but that would require Arum sharing in Mayweather's portion of the revenue, too:
"Right now there’s no development. Obviously we’re waiting to hear from the Mayweather people. But we’re prepared to do the fight in May. ... It will be late in May. But the problem remains the same in that no one from Mayweather’s side would guarantee his purse.
"I can only guarantee Manny’s purse, but if Floyd wants to make a deal with me then I’m open to that. I can guarantee his purse but I then I will have a share in his revenue."
No one has yet addressed WHY this fight can't happen on May 5, or what particularly huge advantages come with an extra three weeks at most of promotional time, especially considering Arum says he'll do it at the MGM Grand, like Floyd has booked for May 5, but the rest? It honestly makes sense. It's not going to happen, or at least it's incredibly unlikely to happen, but it makes sense.
Let's take a step back and enter a lovely little world where this fight is more than something being talked about and more than a handful of very rich men posturing. Let's assume that Bob Arum really, truly wants to make this fight for May 26 or whatever. Just do it with me.
If Golden Boy can't guarantee Mayweather's purse, as Arum says they can't (I know, I don't know why they couldn't either, but apparently he believes that they can't, and that no one else can either), then to make this fight happen, Floyd would have to make a deal with Bob Arum.
And Bob Arum is a boxing promoter who operates with the guidelines and standards and rules that have been in place forever. The promoter invests, promotes and then takes a share of the revenue.
Now, Mayweather is in a position that absolutely nobody else in the history of boxing has been in. Last September, right before his fight with Victor Ortiz, the New York Times had a great piece on the business of Mayweather:
"It’s never been done," Mayweather, who is 41-0, said about his financial model. "Not in entertainment history. Not in sports history. You see that arena Saturday? It’s all Mayweather money. Want a hot dog? Mayweather money. Want a T-shirt? Mayweather money. I need all that."
... Those streams include foreign sales for a fight broadcast in 168 territories; closed-circuit revenues (in 2,000 or so bars and restaurants nationwide, in theaters and in rooms at Las Vegas casinos); site revenue (ticket sales, merchandise); and sponsorships. Most boxers would see little, if any, of that money, whereas, Schaefer said: "All revenues here are Mayweather revenues. He gets part of everything."
And that's why it's so incredibly unlikely that Mayweather will make a deal with Bob Arum to make this fight happen. Oh, I forgot to mention we're back in the real world now, where Arum seems to be moving the goal posts constantly in order to not make this fight happen. Offering to do a deal but take some of the "Mayweather money" is an empty offer. It's not going to happen.
I want to be clear here: I don't think Bob Arum is making some absurd suggestion. I don't think there's much substance to it, but black-and-white terms, he's simply offering to be the promoter of this fight, under normal promoter terms.