The much anticipated epic showdown between pound for pound king Manny Pacquaio and the rugged “There’ Only One” Ricky Hatton scheduled for Saturday May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas has taken on an unusual twist with ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd Mayweather’s imminent return to the ring.
If boxing was a league sport, the announcement would not have been allowed to be made that Mayweather will be teaming with the ‘Only in America’ man King Dong for his triumph return to the sport that just lost Oscar De La Hoya and is desperately starving for some excitement.
Not that Pacquaio and Hatton are not capable of delivering on what has been a date usually reserved for another De La Hoya Cinco De Mayo celebration, but the bigger news is that the winner is likely to get Mayweather.
Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank could not be the least bit worried about their event since it was sold out two weeks ago, but the fact that neither of the giants will have a hand in Mayweather’s pocket is huge.
Since leaving Bob Arum and Top Rank, Mayweather has allowed for boxing senator Al Haymon to serve as a go-between to cut deals with networks and rival promoters, but the Mayweather merger with King may put Haymon on the outside.
In past fights Mayweather has been promoted by Dan Goossen whom he paid a one time fee to, and Golden Boy when he fought against De La Hoya.
The confirmed deal with King, which was struck last week in Florida, is a game changer for both King’s promotional company and Mayweather who probably should have made more money than he got for both the De La Hoya and Hatton fights.
A giddy King told a fight audience in St Louis that Mayweather will fight Pacquaio if he wins and then probably move up to fight house fighter Cory Spinks.
Other reports had Mayweather fighting Juan Manual Marquez in July in his comeback fight, but clearly any deal must be consummated by King, the shrewdest negotiator in the business world.
Even in an economy that is tumbling , King is not expected to leave a dime on the table and there will not be any bargain rate deals cut just to make a fight happen or to appease a network television date.
With Mayweather in fold, not only has King reinvented himself, but at the same time recreated Mayweather into a potential money making machine that can make it rain all day long.
And oh by the way I don’t see this fight with Pacquaio and Hatton as being as one sided as many people think it will be.
In one corner you’ve got Top Rank and Pacquaio and in the other you’ve got Golden Boy and Hatton.
Top Rank fighters have been taken Golden Boy’s men to the cleaners until Bernard Hopkins and Sane Mosley changed the tided in their impressive wins against Kelly Pavilik and Antonio Margarito, respectively.
Pavlik can look toward Paul Williams, Hopkins to Thomasz Admanek and Mosley to Hatton if he wins against Pacquaio.
Arum is not going to be too anxious to stage a Pacquaio/Mayweather fight with his old rival King especially if it means feeding the chicken that left his nest in Mayweather.
So, just when you thought the retirement of De La Hoya left boxing for dead, along comes a tandem that mere months ago could stand each other so much that Mayweather accused King and Arum for being what is wrong with boxing.
Oh, how times have changed. Whew!