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18 April 2024

UAE group offers Mayweather $120 million to fight Filipino boxing legend Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao in Abu Dhabi

By Allaam Ousman

The UAE investment group has upped the stakes in its bid to lure Floyd Mayweather Jr to fight Manny Pacquiao in Abu Dhabi by raising the unbeaten American's already record-setting purse to an unprecented $120 million, according to BoxingScene.com website.

"The media has been speculating the offer has gone up $10 million to a guaranteed $120 million, and they're right," M. Akbar Muhammad has confirmed.

President and chief operating officer of Akbar Productions, LLC of New Jersey, Muhammad has made a formal offer to Mayweather Promotions.

In an interview on the Showtime network last week, Mayweather said he is ready to fight Filipino ring icon Pacquiao next and even gave a date - May 2.

"Mr. Mayweather has said he'll fight Pacquiao in the spring, so the only matter that needs to be resolved is the money," said Muhammad, who has previously worked with Don King.

A long-time boxing executive and one of the principals in the Abu Dhabi-based group, Muhammad challenged anyone to beat their offer.

"I defy any other offer to come anywhere close to what Mr. Mayweather and the 'Money Team' will net by fighting in Abu Dhabi," said Muhammad putting UAE as the front-runner to stage the richest boxing fight in history after first offering Mayweather $110 million.

"The fight happening in Abu Dhabi makes it a truly global event. There's more to boxing than just Las Vegas," said Muhammad who plans to make it an unforgettable event where tributes will be paid to boxing legend Muhammad Ali and the 10th death anniversary of the first President of the UAE Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

"We are committed to creating a celebration, the scope and magnitude of which has never been seen," said Muhammad. "We want the biggest fight ever in Abu Dhabi."

The American nicknamed 'Money' has said the fight will only happen if he receives a much bigger share of the purse than his opponent.

"The $120 million is the largest payday for an individual for a single event in the history of sports," said Muhammad.

In 2012 there was speculation that a fight between the two could lead to the first $200 million purse in boxing history with much of that money coming from pay-per-view sales.

At one point Pacquiao says Mayweather offered him a $40 million purse on the condition Mayweather would keep the pay-per-view money, which would have amounted to more than double what Pacquiao received.

Previous talks were also scuttled because Mayweather says Pacquiao refused to submit to random blood testing.

"Mayweather can get the amount he wants. As early as January this year, I challenged him to a charity fight. Until now, he has not agreed to it. So, money is not the issue in our fight," Pacquiao said Saturday.

"This fight is about legacy, this is about making the fans happy and, above all, this is for the good of boxing." 

Pacquiao has accepted the gauntlet wants to give faithful fight fans a Christmas present - promising to chase Mayweather into submission during their blockbuster fight.

Pacquiao, who turned 36 last week, tweeted another teaser: "@FloydMayweather, don't be a boxing humbug. Let's give the fans the fight they want. They have waited long enough."