Manny Pacquiao to write final chapter with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions
Manny Pacquiao put an official seal on boxing’s worst-kept secret a few days ago when he announced he had parted ways with his longtime promoter Top Rank and moved across the street to set up shop with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
Despite a great, 14-year relationship with Top Rank, an incredible run of super-fights and mega-million dollar purses, Pacquiao opted not to re-sign with the company and has secured his future with the enigmatic Haymon.
By all reports, Pacquiao’s split with Top Rank was amicable but business is business and Pacquiao, who hopes to land a few more big bouts to pad the retirement fund in the twilight of his career, went with Haymon.
In the official public statement, Pacquiao said he would be working with Haymon “to navigate the remainder of his illustrious career.” Pacquiao, 60-7-2 (39), who turns 40 in mid-December, knows he is in the final stages of his career and is looking to maximize what remains of his earning potential.
Another factor that may have played a part is that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been talking about returning to the ring and a rematch of their 2015 bout is something that would presumably generate the kind of money both Pacquiao and Mayweather (the guy’s nickname is “Money,” for goodness sake) would be looking for. Mayweather works closely with Haymon so a “Pacman” rematch would be an easy bout to make.
But would it be an easy bout to sell?
There is no question that Floyd and Manny would like to refill their coffers. Mayweather spends like the well will never go dry and Pacquiao reportedly has a huge tax bill looming over him.
In short, both fighters realize she comes harder than she goes and need some serious loot. And nothing pays like huge, pay-per-view prizefights.
Can these two sell another mega-bout?
UCNlive.com caught up with MP Promotions matchmaker Sean “GreenDay” Gibbons to get his thoughts on Manny, his new deal with the PBC and the possibility of a second go-round of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
“Manny had a great run with Top Rank and he has nothing but love for (CEO) Bob (Arum). He leaves them with good memories and is very thankful to Bob for all he did for his career,” said Gibbons. “But sometimes it is just time to go in a different direction. We had a chance to sit down with Mr. Haymon and realized that was a fantastic deal for Manny. Mr. Joe Ramos, who heads up MP Promotions, their legal counsel Mr. Tom Falgui, Steve Jumalon, everyone involved was just great in putting the deal together. And of course, Mr. Haymon is simply the best adviser in the game and Manny is thrilled to be working with him and the PBC.”
Asked whether signing with Haymon had to do with securing a possible rematch with Mayweather, Gibbons was clear that it might be a perk if it happens but it wasn’t the clincher.
“By no means was there the expectation that if Manny signed with PBC, that he’d be assured of a Mayweather fight. That wasn’t the case at all. Listen, we ran into Floyd when we were both over doing some business in Japan and I don’t know if it was even serious about him talking with us about a rematch. It was kind of in fun, at the time. But the next day it went viral and it took off and the buzz was great and the chatter started,” said Gibbons with a chuckle. “I think then Floyd thought, ‘Hey, maybe there is something here. Maybe there is interest in a rematch if I come back?’ We’ll see; it all depends on the 19th of January.”
The January date to which Gibbons is referring is the all-but-officially announced fight between Pacquiao and former four-division titlist Adrien Broner.
“The thing that will tell if there is a buzz – or there can be a buzz – for a Floyd rematch is how Manny does on the 19th against Broner,” said Gibbons. “If he looks good and people get fired up and Floyd gets fired up, then maybe something can happen in the spring. Listen, at the end of the day, these are the two best pay-per-view stars out there. These two sell tickets like nobody else. That is the bottom line. These two guys, when you put them together, are simply the two biggest draws in boxing. Floyd was huge on his own but put him and Manny together, forget about it.”
While a lot of things would need to happen between now and rematch time between Pacquiao and Mayweather, Gibbons believes that whatever happens, these two have the “it” factor.
“Look, they’ve already done the initial fight. It was almost impossible to live up to the hype of that fight. This time, a little time has passed; both guys have less pressure than in the first one. Both have aged a bit. It might turn out to be a much better bout,” said Gibbons. “But the thing is when these two get together, their event was – and would be – sheer entertainment: fun, crazy, exciting. The fans love it. Both guys speak English; they can be all over the TV shows promoting it. Together these two guys have that crossover appeal and that is box-office magic.”
Whatever happens with Manny Pacquiao in the final chapter of his amazing career, Gibbons is sure the fans will see some great bouts and that the eight-division champion will just add to his already incredible legacy.
“Manny is seldom – if ever – in a bad fight. He is just an exciting guy in the ring. We’ll see how things go in January but I think he is going to do great and then we’ll look at what is next”, said Gibbons. “We want Manny to have some fun, have some exciting fights and finish off his career leaving the fans thrilled, as always. Manny has a great promotional firm behind him, MP Promotions; he has the best adviser out there in Al Haymon. We have the best team and all the pieces are in place for Manny to close out his career the way he came in – thrilling the fans.”