|01-17-2009, 06:49 PM||#1|
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Hatton hopeful of pacquiao showdown
Hatton hopeful of Manny showdown
RICKY Hatton's camp still believe the Las Vegas showdown with Manny Pacquiao will take place.
But the Hitman's dad and business adviser Ray, and his lawyer Gareth Williams, are refusing to listen to soothing noises from the United States about Pacquiao's intentions.
They both insist that, unless the Filipino superstar signs his contract by early next week, they will walk away, and consider legal action.
Both Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum and his influential trainer Freddie Roach said this week that they were confident the world pound-for-pound No 1 would drop his demands to be paid 60 per cent of the purse.
Arum and Roach both described the original agreement of a 50-50 split, which included the division of the proceeds from UK pay-per-view sales, as "fair."
Pacquiao's head appears to have been turned by a trip home to the Philippines, where he has God-like status, and where lawyer Jeng Gacal announced that his man wanted the lion's share.
Pacquaio has pointed out that he had to take the smaller portion of the purse for his clash with Oscar de la Hoya last month, and having won that fight is now entitled to be treated as No1 .
But Roach promised to talk Pacquiao around after the fighter returned to his Los Angeles gym, saying: "The UK is bringing a lot to the table, so I think the 50-50 split is fair. I will talk to Manny and confirm that with him.
"It's a big fight. There are two fights out there for Manny - Ricky Hatton is one and Floyd Mayweather is two, but in that order because if you mix the order up it loses interest.
"The Mayweather fight put $20m dollars in Ricky's pocket for pay-per-view sales in the UK, as he is a popular guy."
Ray Hatton says his gut instinct is that the fight will go ahead. "If it doesn't, we will put in place plans we already have to stage a fight over here in the summer," he said.
"We agreed it as far back as December, a straight split with everything in the pot. It's not about being money-grabbing, just sticking to what we had agreed upon."
Hatton returned yesterday from a stand-up comedy tour of southern England, but plans for press conferences in London and Manchester to launch the fight - due to be held at the end of this month - are now on hold.
But Ray feels the log-jam will shift: "Everyone in America is telling us things will be OK.
"But we want the contract signed by early next week, as we were due to sign our side of it this week," he said.
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