Reports have surfaced that Manny Pacquiao is not going to fight Ricky Hatton on a 50-50 split, and I don't blame him. Manny is the draw and Manny deserve's the lion's share. Manny's wants a 60-40 split and I believe he deserves it.
Why is Manny the draw? Besides beating De La Hoya, he has fought in the U.S. over 15 times in various cities such as L.A., San Francisco, San Antonio, Memphis, and of course Las Vegas. He has fought in different countries; Japan, Thailand, and of course the Philippines. He has also fought opponents from a variety of ethnicities, Thais, Japanese, Koreans, Kazakhstanis, Colombians, Dominicans, South Africans, Australians and of course Mexicans. The majority of these fights were televised title fights.
What does all this information mean? It means that Manny has been seen all over the world not only by his fans, but his opponents' fans, whom he defeated with grace and humility.
Let's not forget that in the United States, Manny is the man. Manny is more popular than most American fighters. In fact after beating Oscar De La Hoya he is more popular than any American, Mexican-American, or Mexican fighter out there. He has hung out with the Celtics and has been visited by NBA stars and Hollywood stars.
Hatton's U.S. and global popularity pales in comparison to Manny's. As a testament to Manny's 2008 success, he was voted as 2008 fighter of the year on many media outlets and ESPN rated Manny as 2008 international athlete of the year.
In contrast Ricky Hatton has fought only six times in the United States, including the second fight in his career. He has fought one other fight in Germany. The rest of Hatton's fights have occurred in England.
Hatton's supporters may claim that Hatton is the champ and has the belt. Who cares?!!! When Pacquiao fought Marco Antonio Barrera for the first time, there was no belt on the line. In fact, the biggest fight and most-watched fight of Pacquiao's career was a non-title beat-down of Oscar De La Hoya.
Prior to that fight Oscar harped on Manny's rating as the pound-for-pound best. More important than the belt, and the pound-for-pound title, is the star power that a fighter generates. Manny clearer is the star with the recognizable face and crowd-pleasing style literally seen and known around the world.
Manny also has a great Plan B if Hatton were to decline. Floyd Mayweather is said to have interest in fighting Manny and it is a fight that would do as well if not better than Manny vs. Hatton.
Hatton's supporters may also say that Hatton can sell out Wembley Stadium—a moot point when we consider that most of the money the fight can generate would be in the United States due to PPV sales.
However there is no doubt that Hatton can generate PPV sales. To account for Hatton's Euro popularity, I believe Hatton should be entitled to a 50-50 split on any English PPV buys. I'd give Hatton a 50-50 split of PPV buys in all of Europe, but Hatton has failed to consistently fight outside of Europe and there are many Filipino immigrants in Europe who will buy the fight because of Manny. In fact the majority of Euro-Filipino immigrants will be watching the Manny fight on May 2.
If the Hatton-Pacquiao fight is to take place on May 2, 2009, Manny Pacquaio should get the 60-40 split he demands and Ricky Hatton should be entitled to a 50-50 split of all PPV buys in England. Manny's status as the pound-for-pound best fighter, his popularity globally and in the United States, his 15 fights in the United States and winning the title of 2008 fighter of the year and 2008 international athlete of the year entitles Manny to the lion's share of the pot.