While the ‘Fight of the Century’ between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is days away, it was certainly not the smoothest of negotiations.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum delved into the rough negotiation process that took place over the past few months and even referred to the entire process as “horrible” which signifies the tension between the involved stakeholders.
“It has been a very hard promotion because of a lot of nonsense and a lot of in-fighting and people making alliances with other people,” Arum told SBNation.com’s Luke Thomas. “But when you’ve been through a horrible situation and are now approaching the finish line and you can see the end, you relax and you’re happy. You don’t really think about how horrible the situation was that you went through.”
While he admitted that the initial process was not particularly strenuous, it was the small details that were difficult to iron out. There was always one party who was not interested in playing along with the agreement.
“The negotiation of terms between the two fighters and the two promoters; that took longer than usual but that was negotiation. Once that deal was signed, the other side tried to use its relationship with MGM to get around what we had negotiated and signed.”
They even struggled to come to terms on the lighting for the event.
“For example, we like to do spectacular lighting at our fights. It makes it more of a significant event, like the UFC does. When we proposed it and they asked Showtime, who said it would be $400,000 to do that. Then they said it wasn’t worth it and they didn’t want to spend the money. Ok, that is a legitimate position. Later, we spoke to HBO and Top Rank and HBO each agreed to pay half. So now we went back to Showtime and said ‘hey, great news. We’re going to do this and it is going to cost you nothing.’ Showtime still said ‘no, we don’t want you to do it.’
“(It was) just to break our balls.”
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