Hatton showdown with Pacquiao called off
Published 22/01/2009 | 14:26
Ricky Hatton's American promoters have confirmed his proposed fight with Manny Pacquiao on 2 May is off.
Both parties had agreed before Christmas to split the purse equally but it emerged earlier this month that the Filipino superstar was demanding 60-40 in his favour for the contest, which was set to take place in Las Vegas.
Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions have confirmed to PA Sport the fight is off and chief executive Richard Schaefer was quoted as saying the Hatton camp decided to walk away and pursue other options.
Hatton had been due to participate in a media tour next week but his representative and Golden Boy supremo Schaefer confirmed that will no longer take place and instead they will now pursue other options.
"The fight is off and I instructed (tour manager) Kelly Swanson to cancel the tour," Schaefer told ESPN.com.
"It's off and we are now pursuing our other options. That's it.
"The Hattons called me and asked again if we had a signed deal from Pacquiao and when I said we didn't, they said they won't sit around anymore.
"They would like me to explore three fights they are interested in."
Pacquiao destroyed Oscar De La Hoya - who is also the president of Golden Boy Promotions - in Las Vegas before Christmas, to set up a mouthwatering showdown with Mancunian light-welterweight world champion Hatton.
The Englishman's camp had hoped to stage the fight at Wembley Stadium in front of nearly 100,000 people but conceded ground when Pacquiao's camp - and American television chiefs - demanded it take place across the Atlantic. Hatton's lawyer Gareth Williams also told PA Sport recently they had agreed to fight early in May despite wanting the contest to be held later in the month.
Williams also threatened to take action if the verbal contract agreed in December was broken.
He said earlier this month: "As far as I'm concerned I've got a firm contract that the fight is taking place.
"As and when I'm officially told that the contract has been breached, then I will do something about it legally.
"It's a verbal contract. As far as I'm concerned we have a contract that the fight will take place. Until such time that I'm officially told it's not taking place, then that's the position."
The fight now seems to be officially dead - with Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Diaz and even former opponent Floyd Mayweather among the early contenders to step in to fight Hatton.