Pacquiao in negotiations with Top Rank for 2-year contract extension
By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) is reportedly in negotiations with Bob Arum of Top Rank for a 5-fight, 2-year contract extension that take him through 2016. This contract will basically last for the remainder of the 35-year-old Pacquiao’s career, because he’s talked about only wanting to fight another two more years. By signing this contract, Pacquiao will effectively be ending any chance of him ever fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr, as Floyd has already told Pacquiao that he will never fight him while he’s being promoted by Arum.
“Yes, we are taking about the extension,” Arum said to Dan Rafael. “We are working it out…How many fights would be in Macau, how many would be in the United States, how many in other places. But we are talking about five fights.”
Pacquiao fought in Macau last November against Brandon Rios, and the results were poor compared to his other recent fights. The fight brought in only 475,000 pay-per-view buys. It’s thought that by Pacquiao agreeing to Arum’s plan of him fighting in Macau, he lost a massive amount of PPV buys that he would have had if the fight had been staged in the United States in a city like Las Vegas, Nevada. Arum wants to open up China to PPV fights in the future, and one way of him possibly opening that door is to try and get the Chinese audience hooked on seeing the 35-year-old Pacquiao’s fights.
It’s a gamble, though, because Pacquiao doesn’t have many fights left, and it could take years and years before Top Rank can monetize fights in China. It could be bad if Pacquiao’s fights over there bring in fewer PPV buys, and he would be kind of shooting himself in the foot by agreeing to fight over there. The only way around that is if Pacquiao fights someone really popular, but Arum doesn’t have any big names for him to fight other than Tim Bradley.
If Pacquiao does sign a contract extension with Top Rank, as I said, he’ll be losing out on a huge money fight against Mayweather for starters. That’s a fight that would give Pacquiao somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million. Pacquiao will also be losing out on big fights against the likes of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, which would be another $50 million payday for him. Pacquiao won’t be fighting guys like Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Lucas Matthysse, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Erislandy Lara, Robert Guerrero, and Devon Alexander. Those guys aren’t big names, to be sure, but they are new blood and it would be a break from the retread fights that he’s been having against Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
It’s hard to say how much money that Pacquiao will lose by him not fighting those fighters, but my guess is he could lose close to $200 million. Pacquiao will still do well in facing Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters Marquez, Bradley, and Brandon Rios in rematches, but it’s hard to imagine boxing fans continuing to have interest in seeing Pacquiao fight those same old guys. I think we’re going to see diminishing returns for Pacquiao with him getting fewer and fewer PPV buys for each of his fights unless Arum can bring in some new blood with a name for him to fight.
Arum might surprise us and start having Pacquiao fight new opponents if he re-signs with him, but I don’t think that’s likely. Pacquiao is likely to fight Marquez for a 5th time this September if Marquez defeats Mike Alvarado in their fight on May 17th. It’s possible that Marquez might be a part of Pacquiao’s other fights on his contract with Arum in 2015 and 2016. I’ve already see Pacquiao and Marquez fight four times, and as far as I’m concerned, they’ve fought too many times and it’s no longer interesting. It’s like watching the same movie over and over again to where you know what the ending is going to be. What we don’t want is both fighters in rockers still fighting many years from now.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz says that a Mayweather fight isn’t a factor in whether Pacquiao will re-sign with Arum. He feels that Mayweather would have fought Pacquiao already if he was interested in fighting him. Koncz didn’t mention Pacquiao’s part in the first negotiations where he was unable to agree to the random blood testing that Mayweather wanted.
Pacquiao will be moving down in weight to the 140lb division whether he re-signs with Arum or not. That means that Pacquiao could get matched up against Arum’s fighters Raymundo Beltran, Terence Crawford, and possibly Mikey Garcia [if he doesn’t leave Top Rank] and Banner Promotions fighter Ruslan Provodnikov. Crawford and Beltran are both lightweights, and not even close to being stars. Those wouldn’t be fights where Pacquiao would bring in a lot of PPV buys, and neither would Provodnikov. It doesn’t matter if Pacquiao widens his base of fighters by moving down to 140, we’re still not talking about any big names. These would be Brandon Rios’ type fights with Pacquiao being lucky if he were to bring in 500,000 PPV buys. It seems to me that Pacquiao is better off at 147 where he can possibly take on someone like Miguel Cotto again or maybe Sergio Martinez. Pacquiao has to take some risks if he wants to get the big money fights, because he’s not going to anything interesting if he moves down to 140 or if he stays at 147 and continues to fight Rios, Marquez and Bradley for the remainder of his career.