Manny Pacquiao manager: 'Nightmare' ticket talks delaying public sale

Manny Pacquiao manager: 'Nightmare' ticket talks delaying public sale
Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao's promoter, speaks during a news conference on March 11 to publicize the titlebout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas on May 2. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

The head of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s promotional company said this week that tickets for the unbeaten boxer’s May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be available for public sale this week.

But he said that two weeks ago too.


While the number of tickets that'll be up for public sale could be less than 1,000 -- the face-value price range is a minimum $1,500 for upper-deck seats up to $10,000 for floor seats -- the delay in making them available is holding up even the official signing of the contract between MGM Grand and the promoters.

"No contract has been signed," Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told the Times on Thursday. "Something's going to be signed, but it hasn't been signed now."

Arum declined further comment because he blasted the situation earlier this month.

Yet Pacquiao business manager Michael Koncz said at the fighter's media day in Hollywood on Wednesday that Mayweather's manager, Al Haymon, is working to secure more tickets from the arena than were agreed upon in original talks.

"Now, the other side is attempting to manipulate the term sheet, but you can't do that because it's in black and white," Koncz said. "It's the biggest nightmare I've ever seen."

An MGM spokesman reached Thursday said this was "the first he's heard" of the situation Koncz described, but admitted tickets are not yet on sale to the public and said he would reach out to MGM executive Richard Sturm for clarification.

Sturm did not immediately respond to The Times.

Koncz said there was an agreement in place for MGM to take an allotment of tickets he declined to specify, with Mayweather Promotions/Haymon and Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank Inc., evenly splitting the remainder.

Another source unauthorized to discuss the arrangement publicly has told the Times that MGM was to get 40% of the tickets, selling some, distributing some to high rollers and selling others privately, with Mayweather and Top Rank getting 30% apiece.

Although officials from both promotional companies have worked to avoid discussing the issue, it's no secret both sides will put a wealth of tickets on the secondary market, where tickets have been listed for as much as $75,000.

"My understanding is Mayweather Promotions is trying to increase [its] amount and make some kind of side deal with the MGM to get extra tickets, which is not what we agreed to," Koncz said. "It's not going to do anything to the fight. The fight will still go on. But tickets might not be available until the week of the fight. That's what I was told" Wednesday.

Mayweather Promotions' Leonard Ellerbe insisted at Mayweather's Tuesday media day that tickets will go on sale to the public "this week," adding he couldn't specify the number.

"How can they be on sale [this week] when there's no written agreement?" Koncz asked.

Ellerbe worked to tout his young company's organizational success this week, and assured that all details will get ironed out.


When asked how many tickets Mayweather Jr. and Haymon will have to sell on the secondary market, Ellerbe dismissed the issue.

"Business is business," he said. "We don't chase money. We chase victories."