Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s manager, Billy Keane, contends that the Mexican star was undervalued and treated unfairly during negotiations for a 168-pound matchup with WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin. This countered an earlier assertion by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum that the 28-year-old son of the legendary champion turned down "a crazy, unbelievable offer" that he insisted was "still better than what Golovkin accepted for the fight."
"I didn't reveal any numbers during my first go-round in interviews because, first of all, Bob originally asked me not to speak to the media," said Keane. "He wanted to craft a statement when it looked like the fight may not happen that we did not come to a meeting of the minds and that we did not want to discuss terms. I respected that until he gave an interview.
"Now, it's not my preference or Julio's preference to get into a media expose on how Top Rank has mistreated Julio during these negotiations, but I do have to correct the misrepresentation that Bob [is] making. I did that yesterday, but I did not mention any specific numbers, but since today, Bob has gone on record with the specific numbers, I feel comfortable doing that."
Keane was not available for an immediate comment earlier on Thursday when Arum revealed his original offer to RingTV.com, one the promoter said was inclusive of two fights within the terms of the existing contract, which Arum said lasts through October 2015 with Chavez.
"It called for the Golovkin fight to pay him a minimum $7 million, and if he lost that fight, we guaranteed him another fight for $5 million. Now if he beat Golovkin, then we would pay him a minimum for his next fight of $10 million," said Arum, during his earlier interview with RingTV.com.
"So we would … do these two fights, and the minimum he would make is $12 million, and if he was successful, $17 million plus. He turned that offer down. So we offered him a one-fight offer at considerably less money but still better than what Golovkin accepted for the fight and he turned that down. So, obviously, he doesn't want the fight and we go on with our business."
While Keane disagreed slightly on the numbers mentioned by Arum, he strongly disliked the method in which he felt Chavez was treated, including his belief that there were "attempts to coerce Julio into signing extensions."
"The offer was a $6.6 million guarantee for Julio to fight Golovkin, which included two extensions. Although we considered that offer a below-market offer for a pay-per-view fight of this stature, Julio, nonetheless, immediately responded to all of the fight terms. It was a fight that he wanted, it was a fight that the people wanted, and he wanted to give them that," said Keane.
"What he did not agree to was a two-fight extension. But Everything else, he agreed to. There were multiple other offers by Top Rank that always included extensions. The last one is correct. Bob did offer him a $7 million guarantee with a one-fight extension, and $10 million if he won, $5 million if he lost. Again, we accepted the fight, but not the extensions."
Keane said that Arum "then came back to us with a standalone fight with no extensions for a $2 million guaranteed purse," and that Top Rank would not budge on its final one-fight offer.
"That's $5 million less and a more than 70 percent decrease than his first offer, and an upside that didn't kick in until there were 375,000 buys. This is the exact same guarantee offered to Golovkin," said Keane. "But with all due respect to Golovkin, there is no scenario where anyone believes that Chavez and Golovkin are in parity and that they should be making the same, or similar or even in the same ballpark the amount of money."
Asked if he would continue to work with Top Rank to make a Golovkin fight, Keane said, "Of course."
"This is a fight that Julio wants. He just wants to be treated fairly. I really do hope that this is the last go-around with misrepresentations by Top Rank," said Keane. "Or I will be forced to go into even greater detail about Top Rank's attempts to be unfair and inequitable in its attempts to coerce Julio into signing extensions. I will not hesitate to use emails, texts and multiple contracts to prove these points. It's entirely up to Top Rank where they want to be."