Sergio Martinez is willing to boil down to 150 pounds and take a 20-80 split to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Photo by Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
Promoter Lou DiBella is offering about as much as he can really offer to get Floyd Mayweather Jr into a ring with his fighter, reigning middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. According to BoxingScene.com, DiBella is serious about both the weight and split offer, both of which heavily favor Mayweather:
"Floyd would be favored at 150. Cotto is a dead man at 154. Cotto is a half-shot. He's a great fighter, but he gets hit by everything. He incented Cotto to make a big money fight. It's very smart business. If he wants to handicap Sergio, we'll fight him as low as 150. And we'll give him 80% of the money.
Martinez stormed back and wound up throttling Matthew Macklin last night in New York, and while the fight was boasted as a sellout, it's about 5,000-seat venue, plus it was in New York with the New York taxes, so even with HBO behind it, it's not like Sergio Martinez is making astounding money being one of the best fighters in the world. He's not hurting for airfare or anything, but 20% of a Mayweather fight is simply a lot more money than he's used to making.
I mean, look, bottom line, that's the reason they're chasing these fights, and with good reason. That's why they've wanted to fight Chavez so badly. It's nothing to do with the stupid WBC title, or any idea that Chavez is truly in Martinez's class. It's about money. Chavez is a star. Martinez just isn't. It's not fair, but then the world isn't really fair.
Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, of course, are stars. Top Rank and Pacquiao have pretty much turned down the idea of fighting Martinez, even at 150. Mayweather has entertained it a bit, and has said he'd do it. (Of course there was a time Pacquiao said he would, too.)
I do find it mildly amusing that Mayweather's reason for fighting Miguel Cotto at 154 -- the PR reason, I mean -- is that, you know, he doesn't want any excuses and he wants to fight the best Miguel Cotto and not drain him down to a catchweight. But Martinez, who can also make 154 and would certainly be happy to do so to fight Floyd, has to boil off another four pounds.
And as far as money goes, I'd understand the idea that Floyd doesn't need to bother with Sergio because Sergio's not a big star or a PAY-per-VIEW-a-TTRAC-tion, but that kind of got shot when Mayweather fought Victor Ortiz last year, he of the single HBO main event victory.
As a little side note, Chris Robinson of the Examiner says he spoke with Larry Merchant after last night's fights, and Merchant said that Martinez would be lucky to get a 10% deal to fight Mayweather. Merchant's probably right, honestly, though one does wonder how Martinez has so greatly offended Larry this week.
Here's a question: Do you really want to see Mayweather vs Martinez at 150 pounds? It's going to kill Martinez to make that weight, most likely. He hasn't been that low since 2003, so let's just go ahead and call it a decade, since it probably will be by the time Floyd fights again after Cotto.