Advisor: Manny Pacquiao would “prefer not” to fight at Staples Center


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The U.S. business advisor for Manny Pacquiao said the Filipino boxing star would ‘prefer not’ to have his verbally agreed-upon megafight versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Staples Center.

The business advisor, Michael Koncz, said he and a Pacquiao accountant have estimated that the boxer would owe a California tax bill they estimate at $3.5 million to $5 million.

Koncz said without assurances that Pacquiao’s tax bill would be paid with a larger total purse, ‘Manny doesn’t want to fight in California,’ when the alternatives are no state taxes if the scheduled March 13 bout were fought in Nevada or Texas.


On Wednesday, Dan Beckerman, the chief financial officer for Staples’ owner AEG, told The Times that his corporation would guarantee a record $20 million to stage the fight at the 20,000-seat venue. AEG is a part-owner of Golden Boy Promotions, which Mayweather has retained to negotiate the Pacquiao fight deal.

Tuesday night, Golden Boy Chief Executive Richard Schaefer canceled a tour of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium with Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum and the head of HBO Sports, Ross Greenburg. Arum reportedly is so upset by that cancellation that he has directed his son-in-law Todd duBoef, who is president of his promotion company Top Rank, to negotiate for now.

Koncz said he was ‘troubled’ by the AEG-Golden Boy connection and how it has possibly influenced the site deal negotiation. He called Schaefer’s cancellation ‘unprofessional.’

Koncz said he was strongly considering calling Mayweather’s manager to discuss the concerns of taking on a state tax bill in California.

‘The promoters work for the fighter, not the other way around,’ Koncz said. ‘Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are driving this interest in the fight and it’s time for the fighters to exert their muscles, and make it clear what they want.’

Koncz said he was struggling to understand how the Staples offer could beat the site money available in either Las Vegas or Dallas. He said the parties have already discussed a ticket price range between $500 and $2,500 for ringside seats for the bout, which would make it the most lucrative gate in Nevada history.

Beckerman acknowledged Wednesday that the tax bill was a concern. He did not immediately return a call today to address how Staples or promoters would allay the concerns of Pacquiao and Mayweather.

-- Lance Pugmire