By Rick Reeno
Sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations advised BoxingScene.com that Mikkel Kessler was getting "far less" than the reported $3.5 million to fight IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute.
On Tuesday, former Kelly Pavlik withdrew from Saturday's scheduled fight with Darryl Cunningham. The Showtime televised bout was taking place at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio.
Pavlik wasn't happy with his two fight package, which guaranteed him $50,000 for Cunningham and $1.35 million for a Bute showdown in November. In several interviews, he voiced his displeasure over the amount of money offered to Kessler - because he considers himself to be a "bigger name" than the Danish superstar.
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com in multiple interviews, that Pavlik's information regarding Kessler's purse was a "fantasy" amount of money and nowhere near the actual figure.
BoxingScene, through various indviduals, was able to confirm that Kessler's guarantee for Bute was only $750,000 - a far cry from the reported $3.5 million dollar guarantee. Besides the 750K, Kessler would have also received a fee from Showtime and 100% of the money from Danish television. Kessler, who turned the offer down, would have made a lucrative amount of money from Danish television, but that has nothing to do with Pavlik's guarantee - although it does play a role in Kessler receiving a smaller number as Bute would have received 0% of the Danish TV money.
If Pavlik truly believes that he's a bigger star, or on the same level as Kessler with respect to marketability, then he should take the $1.35 million for Bute, place the fight on American pay-per-view, and see if he's capable of generating as much money as Kessler on the pay-per-view market.