New York. A trumpet blared a fanfare to introduce Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto as fans at the Apollo Theater cheered the start of Tuesday’s news conference to promote their May 5 fight in Las Vegas.
Still, there appeared to be far more interest in the fight that’s not happening — a matchup between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather made clear that whether they face off is about the money — breaking down the shares in what could be boxing’s richest fight ever.
“Just by speaking to Pacquiao on the phone, I mean, he’s not one of the sharpest knives in the drawer,” Mayweather said. “He faces Floyd Mayweather, he’s not getting 50-50. Not at all. No one is getting 50-50.”
While Mayweather urged Pacquiao should “take the test,” a reference to his demand for random drug testing, the payout appears to be the real sore point between Mayweather on one side, and Pacquiao and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum on the other. Arum has said testing is not an issue.
“Bob Arum likes to match Top Rank fighters with Top Rank fights,” Mayweather said.
“He keeps all the money in house.”
This dispute has spilled into federal court. Pacquiao sued Mayweather for defamation in December 2009, alleging Mayweather falsely accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Pacquiao spent 12 hours in Las Vegas last week giving depositions in the case.
“If I offered him $30 million, he should be happy,” Mayweather said.
Mayweather says he’s not ducking Pacquiao, who stopped Cotto in the 12th round of their November 2009 fight.
“Do I want the Pacquiao fight? Absolutely. But it’s going to be hard to make the fight because Arum is worried about getting money,” he said.
As boxing news conferences go, this was fairly tame. In the second of a series that began on Monday in Puerto Rico and ends today in Los Angeles, Mayweather and Cotto praised each other and said they respected each other. Video projections proclaimed them “Ring Kings” and “Living Legends.” They sat in tall chairs of red velvet with lions on the arm rests.
Cotto, who has stopped all three of his opponents since losing a welterweight title fight to Pacquiao, thinks the 154-pound weight limit will favor him over Mayweather, who has boxed at lighter classes.
“Power is going to be on my side,” Cotto said.
The fight, for the WBA super welterweight title, will take place in Las Vegas and will be televised by HBO on pay-per-view. HBO plans a four-episode series leading up to the bout, with the first part to air April 14.
Mayweather is to begin a 90-day jail sentence on June 1 from a domestic violence case.