Staples Center offers $20 million to host Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight December 9, 2009 | 4:13 pm

10/12/2009 10:01


December 9, 2009 |  4:13 pm

Staples Center has made a guaranteed $20-million offer to host the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. mega-fight that has been verbally agreed to be fought March 13.

Fabforum "This is the biggest boxing event ever, and we're prepared to step up in a big way," said Dan Beckerman, AEG's chief financial officer. Beckerman said his pitch to Mayweather promoter Richard Schaefer and Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum is to "activate the entire L.A. Live campus" on fight week.

New J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels would serve as media headquarters, a fan-fest would be staged at Nokia Plaza, a large closed-circuit audience could watch the bout at Nokia Theatre and 20,000 would fill Staples Center, Beckerman said.

"We know there's interest in this fight across the world, but we're very interested and honored to make the most impressive offer possible," Beckerman said. "It's our biggest guarantee ever, and we hope it wins the day. We wanted to push as far and as hard as we could."

Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, which counts AEG as a partner, declined to immediately comment on any site deals. He canceled a planned trip to tour Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Wednesday, but declined to explain why, other than repeating he was busy working to finalize the fight deal.

One of the barriers to staging the bout in California, promoters say, are the state taxes required from the boxers -- payments not required in Nevada and Texas.

"That's certainly a factor in the overall economics, and one thing we'd have to overcome," Beckerman said.

Staples has at least won the right to stage another fight of interest, the fourth chapter between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, on May 22, Beckerman said.

The classic trilogy had two fights at AEG's Home Depot Center, with both bouts won by Huntington Park's Vazquez.

"That's a great L.A. fight and the fourth installment appropriately needs to step up to the bigger venue," Beckerman said.

-- Lance Pugmire