Thursday, June 3, 2010

Arum Hit With Huge Qatar Offer For Mayweather-Pacquiao

By Rick Reeno

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao is without question the biggest fight in boxing. Because there is so much money to be made, investors from all over the world are trying to get involved. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum confirmed to BoxingScene.com that he was approached by parties in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, who are interested in staging the Mayweather-Pacquiao event.

The party from Qatar is not looking to stage the fight overseas. They want to stage the fight in the United States.

"I got a call from Qatar, where they offered a number that was so crazy..... not to do the fight over there, [but] to do the fight here in the United States," Arum said.

How crazy was the number?

Last December, when Mayweather-Pacquiao was being negotiated for a failed March date, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered a guarantee of $25 million to host the event at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated was the only other reporter involved in the conversation, and he asked Arum directly if the offer from Qatar was bigger than the offer presented by Jones in December. Arum replied "way bigger."

Because the party from Qatar is interested in hosting the event in the United States, Arum is somewhat puzzled as to their monetary motives to recoup their sizable investment. He believes their interests lie with the gate.

"I have no idea. I said 'look, what are you interested in?' Sponsorships? [They said] no. Pay-Per-View? [They said] no. They are interested in the gate. The thing is with Mayweather and Pacquiao, is that Pacquiao is gold for the casinos because virtually every Asian gambler, high roller, wants to be at a Pacquiao fight and wants to come to Las Vegas - and that then translates into multi-million dollars. More than the pay-per-view [revenue]. Whoever gets those good seats, gets players who play $250,000 a hand and you got those sons of bitches all weekend," Arum said.

"They don't want the fight in Qatar. They want the fight presumably in Vegas or some state. But yes I did get the call, a letter from Abu Dhabi offering me gazillions [and] my own camel. And I got this call Saturday from Qatar."

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