Only eleven days to go before Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao don their gloves, but allegations of conspiracy has left the actual official contract of the fight at MGM Grand unsigned.
The richest fight in boxing history is set for May 2 at Las Vegas.
Top rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN on Tuesday he wasn’t ready to sign the contract as the draft he received on April 15 was not according to the term sheet he, Mayweather Promotions and MGM agreed to a couple of months ago.
“We agreed that we would all be signatories on the final contract and then they sent us a draft of the agreement and it excluded us,” said Arum, promoter of Pacquiao.
Excluding the signatures from the draft of agreement means Top Rank wouldn’t have control over decisions during the fight, including in-arena production, video content and music.
Arum also stated, “They don’t want us to have any say, So whether they came up with the deal between Mayweather and MGM before or after our agreement, they’ve committed fraud either way. That’s what we’re enmeshed in.”
Arum also revealed that he finally received the manifest that carves out who gets to sit where, after continuously requesting for three weeks.
“It’s one of the things I was most concerned about,” said Pacquiao’s promoter, adding that he thinks it’s possible the contract gets signed Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, disagrees with Arum’s explanation of the original contract.
“The bottom line is that Bob isn’t willing to live with the agreement signed a couple months ago, which doesn’t allow him to be in control,” Ellerbe said, countering Arum’s allegations. “The only conspiracy, in my opinion, exists with him trying to conspire with his lawyers to change the terms of the agreement. I assure you that nothing underhanded is going on and the reference to this back alley stuff is ridiculous.”
Not a single ticket of the bout has been printed and sold, and the sales of tickets for closed-circuit views at MGM hotels are also pending.
A spokesman for MGM didn’t immediately reply.
“Tickets for a fight like this are often available months out,” said a high-ranking executive in the ticketing business who requested anonymity. “Distributing this many tickets in this short amount of time is already a nightmare. With physical tickets, there’s going to have people worth millions waiting on long lines just to get what they were promised.”