The proposed May 2 showdown between Manny Pacquiao and junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton is off, according to representatives for both fighters.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who represents Hatton, told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he's canceled next week's planned media tour and will begin negotiating with other potential opponents immediately. Bob Arum of Top Rank, who promotes Pacquiao, confirmed that the fight is off.
"The fight is off and I instructed [tour manager] Kelly Swanson to cancel the tour," said Schaefer, clearly upset. "It's off and we are now pursuing our other options. That's it. The Hattons called me and asked again if we had a signed deal from Pacquiao and when I said we didn't, they said they won't sit around anymore. They would like me to explore three fights they are interested in."
"Manny decided not to sign," Arum said. "He was unhappy with the terms. So I contacted Schaefer and I told him the situation and he acted accordingly, which means the fight is off. The suits can posture but it's the fighters who have to go in the ring and fight. But I am not thrilled right now."
Schaefer said Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) still planned to fight May 2 and three names they gave him as opponents to explore deals with, in no particular order, were the winner of the Feb. 28 fight between lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz, Golden Boy boss De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, who is retired but has said he would listen to proposals.
This is a loss for boxing, for the fans, and for both fighters. I truly feel that way. This is a massive missed opportunity for a major fight between two guys who aren't over the hill and have plenty more to offer the sport. It was a fight, not just an event.
In short, it's a shame.