Floyd Mayweather’s adviser called the 1.25 million domestic pay-per-view sales for the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight “great for the sport of boxing” but stressed they would have no impact on negotiations for a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao blockbuster.
Leonard Ellerbe instead emphasized Mayweather’s superior pay-per-view sales against three common opponents.
"If a deal can be struck, this is the biggest fight ever,” Ellerbe said. “The fans want it and Floyd wants it. That's all that really matters, that Floyd wants it. Now it comes down to does Manny want it. Manny obviously will be speaking through his promoter, because that's his boss. Floyd has made it clear he wants the fight."
Ellerbe pointed out that Mayweather outdrew Pacquiao in domestic sales for pay-per-view fights against Oscar De La Hoya (2.44 million to 1.25 million), Juan Manuel Marquez (1 million to 375,000) and Ricky Hatton (950,000 to 810,000).
"Floyd clearly is the biggest star in boxing, based on the numbers against the same three common opponents,” Ellerbe said. “And all six of those fights were in a three-year span. It wasn't any long period of time. This isn't difficult to figure out at all. Pacquiao's side has a distorted perception of facts. But numbers don't lie. People do."
Ellerbe said the Mayweather camp is in the process of formulating a negotiating plan and will relay that information through Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, when the time is appropriate.
That should happen next week, when the two sides are expected to begin negotiating in earnest.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, has said he would prefer to cut the deal with Schaefer’s involvement. Ellerbe said that avoiding personality conflicts is precisely why the Mayweather camp will comply.
“We're trying to make a deal, not break a deal," Ellerbe said.
Shane Mosley apparently is Mayweather’s backup option, just as a third fight with Marquez appears to be Pacquiao’s.
Mosley is scheduled to fight Andre Berto in January.
“If a deal can’t be reached, and if Shane beats Berto, we’ll look into the possibility of fighting him,” Ellerbe said.
There also has been unsubstantiated talk about Mayweather taking an interim fight in January, possibly in England against Matthew Hatton, Ricky Hatton’s brother.
“I've heard a lot of rumors and I don't pay a lot of attention,” Ellerbe said. “We're the ones making our decisions and Floyd has made it perfectly clear to us that he wants to make the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.”
HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg said after the Pacquiao-Cotto fight that the thought of either Mayweather or Pacquiao taking an interim fight before facing each other “makes me ill.”
“My response is that our focus is on trying to get a deal done,” Ellerbe said. “If we can't get a deal done, my responsibility is what's in the best interests of Floyd Mayweather. Ross Greenburg's responsibility is the best interests of HBO."
Ellerbe called Pacquiao “a good little fighter” but suggested a fight with Mayweather would be as big a mismatch in the ring as their pay-per-view numbers against common opponents have been outside of it.
"The numbers are great for the sport of boxing but he had a legitimate dance partner,” Ellerbe said. “Cotto is a very good fighter who's had a lot of visibility on pay-per-view, against (Antonio) Margarito, against (Zab) Judah, against Mosley, against Pacquiao."