By Rob Markman
Eight-Division world boxing champion boxer Manny Pacquiao handles his business both inside and outside of the ring. On Wednesday (September 19) Pac-Man was in New York City promoting his December 8 fight with his heated rival Juan Manuel Márquez, but also addressed his in-the-works promotion company with rap mogul 50 Cent.
"I love music, and he likes boxing also," Pacquiao told MTV News about the G-Unit head honcho just minutes before his big press conference at the Edison Ballroom in New York promoting the Márquez match. "We're talking about that and we're discussing. We didn't finalize yet because I'm so busy right now and he's busy right now.
Manny made it clear that he was focused on his December 8 bout with Márquez, a man who he is fighting for the fourth time in his career, but Pacquiao's business adviser Michael Koncz was able to give us much more detail.
"We've very close to it, I've been talking to 50 Cent now for over a month and a half, close to two months. It's becoming a reality, more than a possibility," Koncz said of the deal which will bring Fif and Pac together to promote big-time boxing matches. "I think we're going to end up doing something together before the year is out."
This is not 50's first venture into the sport. The multiplatinum rapper has a close friendship with boxing champ Floyd Mayweather — they call themselves the Money Team — but in a recent interview, Fif spoke on a rift between the longtime buddies. It is now being speculated that because Fif is gearing up to do business with Mayweather's rival Pacquiao, it has caused problems between the friends. During a radio interview on September 14 with Power 105's Breakfast Club in NYC, 50 said he and Floyd were still friends, and today, Koncz completely shot down the notion that Manny came between them.
"No, it's not because of this, and I believe they have a true friendship and all true friends have arguments periodically, but that's not my business," Koncz said diplomatically. "Floyd is always welcome, if we put this together, the door will always be open for Floyd to join in." In fact, Koncz told MTV News that, at first, the pending business venture was intended to include Mayweather as well. "They approached us, they came to us and initially it was 50 Cent, Floyd and Manny," he said. "We don't have a problem with Floyd. Manny doesn't have any anger or resentment."
Regardless of Mayweather's involvement, Pacquiao and Fif are looking forward to doing business. Koncz envisions pay-per-view events that will not only feature marquee boxing matches, but mini-concerts as well, giving fans more bang for their buck. "That's the luxury that we would have through 50 that most promoters can't do because you really can't afford to put that in the show," he said, also noting that the concert idea is just one of many and isn't concrete.
Maybe with all of their influence 50 Cent and his new partner can finally put together a mega dream-match between Mayweather and Pacquiao. It is speculated that a fight between the two titans can bring in millions of dollars and break pay-per-view records. No telling if 50 Cent will be involved or if Pacquiao versus Mayweather will ever happen, but Manny remains hopeful. "There's a possibility to make that fight happen. Maybe not this time, but some other time," he said. "Right now I'm focused on December 8."
What effect will 50 Cent's pending partnership with Pacquiao have on his friendship with Floyd Mayweather?