Monday, August 9, 2010

Frank Warren says Floyd Mayweather stalling on Manny Pacquiao fight

Frank Warren, Europe’s foremost boxing promoter for the last 30 years, has weighed in with his views on the anticipated welterweight showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jnr, which has become an on-off saga. It threatens to be the richest boxing fight in history, never to happen.
However, Warren believes the match-up, estimated to be worth 200 million US dollars, will take place.
Warren, speaking exclusively to Telegraph Sport, explained: “It is the fight that must happen for boxing. As fighters, I think they are the best of their generation, I think it’s a natural match. And it will happen.”
“There will be a lot of posturing, there are times I’ve felt Floyd Mayweather was doing his best not to make the fight.” That view comes from Warren’s stance that Mayweather “has picked and chosen who he wants to fight over the years.”
“He never fought Shane Mosley when he should have fought him. He just didn’t do it. There have been a few times like that. Roy Jones Jnr did a similar thing. He didn’t fight the best guys at the best times, in my opinion. This one is [Mayweather-Pacquiao] is a huge fight, a huge money fight that could do 3 million pay per view buys on television. I think it will outdo [Floyd and Oscar De La Hoya at 2.25 million ppv buys].”
“It’s a huge money fight and it has to happen and in the tens we are into, it is the biggest fight out there for a long long time, a megafight.”
Does it compare, in Warren’s eyes, with other fights defining a generation, such as Sugar Ray Leonard versus Marvellous Marvin Hagler ? “It is as big as all those fights, even though it is one only American involved. But the fact of the matter is that this is what the business needs. The thing that will hold it up is, though, is Mayweather thinking he is worth more than the 50-50 split.”
Warren is preparing for his own mega-event at the LG Arena in Birmingham on September 18, with nine title fights on the card. His entire top tier stable is on show. Among the fighters is Matthew Macklin, who is now trained by Pacquiao’s overseer Freddie Roach.
Macklin fights Londoner Darren Barker for the British, European and Commonwealth middleweight titles. It is a contest bristling with bragging rights.
Warren believes Mayweather was playing mind games with the drug-testing in round one of negotiations. “I’m sure it was. But at the end of the day, Bob Arum had other places to go. And he did it – he went off and sold 50,000 tickets in Texas [for Pacquiao versus Joshua Clottey]. ”
“Bob Arum is a proper promoter, and I very much admire him. The very first world title fight I ever did was Colin Jones against Don Curry, working with Bob, 25…26 years ago, and I have the utmost respect for him.”
“The fact is he is a real, quality promoter. He, in fact, is the one who will make this fight happen, but he won’t sell his fighter short. He will not sell him short. And this is a tough fight [for both men]. If you asked me to pick a winner I would favour Mayweather.”
“I think Mayweather is a natural counter puncher, although Pacquiao is a tremendous puncher, very fast, but…he can be hit. It’s an interesting fight. If I was a bookmaker, I would make Mayweather the favourite.”
Then again…”You see Mayweather clipped a couple of times in that second round by a 38-year-old Mosley, and you wonder if it was the other fella [Pacquiao] throwing the punches, could it have been different. So…it’s interesting.”

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