De La Hoya-Pacquiao is off

Times Staff Writer

Negotiations about a possible fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao stalled Wednesday after the fighters failed to reach an agreement on the split of the purse, said Bob Arum, who represents Pacquiao.

De La Hoya offered Pacquiao a 30% share of the purse from the proposed Dec. 6 fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but Pacquiao was seeking 40%, Arum said.

“They were adamant at 70-30 and weren’t going to move,” Arum said. “Manny turned down the fight and asked me to get him another fight for the fall.”

Richard Schaefer, chief executive of De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, said Tuesday that De La Hoya had agreed to fight Pacquiao at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds and with eight-ounce gloves, terms that Pacquiao had sought, but that De La Hoya would not alter his split of the purse.


Arum relayed the terms to Pacquiao, who turned down the offer.

“The decision was all Pacquiao,” Arum said. “He feels, under the circumstances, he’s entitled to a better split. When he realized there was absolutely no movement on De La Hoya’s side, he decided to turn down the fight.”

Schaefer said he was surprised with the decision because Pacquiao was set to earn the biggest payday of his career, regardless of the split.

“He could have made, at least, $9 million to $10 million, or about three or four times as much fighting someone else. I guess he’s going to have to do three or four fights to make the same amount of money,” Schaefer said.


De La Hoya, 35, is boxing’s biggest draw and had said he would retire after his next fight.

Pacquiao had moved up to the 135-pound lightweight division in June, taking the World Boxing Council title from David Diaz with a ninth-round knockout. After the victory, many expected Pacquiao’s next challenger to be popular Englishman Ricky Hatton in the 140-pound division, or Edwin Valero or Humberto Soto at 130 pounds.

De La Hoya weighed 150 in his last fight, against Steve Forbes, the lightest he has been since March 2001. Pacquiao, 29, began his pro career as a 106-pound strawweight. He has been fighting at 130 since 2005. In his last fight, he moved up to the 135-pound lightweight division for the first time.