No agreement to stage Hopkins-Green
After Australian boxing star Danny Green knocked out Roy Jones in the first round on Dec. 2, ruining an already-signed deal Jones had for a rematch with Bernard Hopkins in early 2010, talks quickly turned to a Hopkins-Green bout.
But those discussions ended Tuesday night with the sides going their separate ways because of a money dispute, promoter Gary Shaw, who is serving as Green's adviser, told ESPN.com.
The crux of the dispute, according to Shaw, was Hopkins' demand for a 60-40 split of the money in his favor instead of the 50-50 deal Shaw said they had previously agreed upon.
"Green will not move off 50-50," Shaw said. "B-Hop will wait forever for 60-40."
Shaw and Green met in Los Angeles two weeks ago with Hopkins' promoter, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy, to peruse numbers and hash out a deal for a cruiserweight fight that would have taken place in April on pay-per-view in Australia and on HBO in the United States.
"We thought we had a deal at 50-50 when we left Richard's office. We had gone over all the numbers Danny did in the Roy Jones fight," Shaw said.
Shaw said he then went to HBO and negotiated the rights fee with the network, which had offered more than $2 million for the bout. The scenario called for the fight to be on a Sunday afternoon in Australia so it could be televised live in the U.S. in prime time on Saturday night.
"After I met with HBO, Danny spoke with Bernard once or twice and Bernard suddenly changed the deal," Shaw said. "He told Danny he wanted all of the HBO money because he was bringing HBO, which wasn't accurate because I was the one who went to HBO and negotiated the money."
Shaw said the deal they had previously agreed to was 50-50 with Hopkins being guaranteed at least $3 million.
"Once Bernard changed the deal, Danny said it was a non-starter," Shaw said. "So let them go their separate ways."
According to Schaefer, they never agreed to a deal.
"There was a deal presented to Bernard and me where Danny Green offered 50-50," Schaefer told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "We countered that deal and said we would agree to 50-50 if we can keep the U.S. [television] money or put into the joint account in effect the same amount of money which was available to them from the U.S. TV rights for the Jones-Green fight. That in return was declined by Green."
Green will look for alternative opponents, Shaw said. Among the possibilities, according to Shaw, are former super middleweight titlist Manny Siaca and former light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver, whom Shaw has worked with for the past few years.
Hopkins (50-5-1, 32 KOs), the former middleweight and light heavyweight champ, easily outpointed Enrique Ornelas on Dec. 2 in his first fight since winning a lopsided decision against middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik in their light heavyweight bout 14 months ago.
Hopkins, who turns 45 on Jan. 15, and Jones were in tune-up fights on the same date ahead of their planned showdown. But the 38-year-old Green (28-3, 25 KOs), a former light heavyweight titleholder, pulled off the mild upset, thus killing Jones-Hopkins II.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.