MANILA, Philippines – HBO President Ross Greenburg has finally broken his silence regarding the question on the minds of most boxing fans—Did the camps of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao negotiate for the November 13 fight?
Greenburg, who earlier declined to comment on the issue, said the negotiations did happen.
“I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2nd, carefully trying to put the fight together,” the HBO president said in a statement. “Hopefully, someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it.”
Greenburg even commented on the magnitude of the Pacquiao-Mayweather super showdown, saying this is the reason he stepped in as a mediator for both camps.
“Fights like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao are significant because of these fighters’ ability to connect with sports fans around the world. It’s unfortunate that it won’t happen in 2010,” said Greenburg.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc., earlier said that Mayweather snubbed the deadline to agree to fight the 7-division world champion. (Read: Who's next for Rep. Pacquiao after Mayweather snub?)
Arum revealed that he negotiated for the super fight through Greenburg, who relayed the information to Mayweather’s advisor, Al Haymon.
Days after the deadline, Mayweather’s camp, through adviser Leonard Ellerbe, said that no negotiation took place among the American’s camp, Team Pacquiao and HBO’s Greenburg.
Arum then remarked in a Los Angeles Times blog, “Ross is reflecting what the facts were. The [Ellerbe] statement defied explanation.”
Pacquiao has then been scheduled to fight Mexican Antonio Margarito for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight belt on November 13.
GBP 'unaware' of talks
Golden Boy Promotions (GBP), which represents Mayweather, still claims that there were no negotiations between the camps of Floyd and Pacquiao.
In fact, GBP CEO Richard Schaefer said that Greenburg’s statement caught him by surprise.
"[The HBO president] has not negotiated with me, let me put it like that,” Schaefer told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times.
“Leonard, me and Al talk on a regular basis, and I'm not aware of these ‘negotiations’ taking place, and I’m totally surprised Ross Greenburg would claim differently. If these negotiations took place, I'm confident I would have been aware of them,” he added.
GBP President Oscar de la Hoya, who was earlier quoted that the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight was close to being made, now echoed Schaefer’s statement. (Read: De la Hoya: Pacquiao-Mayweather almost a done deal)
“Obviously, negotiations weren’t going on. Nothing was going on. Like I said, Mayweather has the key to making that fight happen,” he told Robert Morales of BoxingScene.com.
The former boxer also cleared himself again from saying that the Mayweather and Pacquiao negotiations were “very close” to being finalized.
“I think I said it because I get the question asked so many times that, obviously, I was fed up and tired of it and I just said like, yeah, yeah, it's gonna get made,” the 10-time world champion noted. “So it was a quick answer that I should have obviously thought about.” (Read: ‘De la Hoya misquoted on Pacquiao-Mayweather bout’)