The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao bout tonight is being billed as the “fight of the century” but the waiter who made it happen still hasn’t been paid. He hasn’t even gotten a ticket.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Gabriel Salvador, an actor and part-time server at Craig’s Restaurant in L.A., became acquainted with the CEO and President of CBS Corp, Leslie Moonves at the restaurant. Moonves is a Craig’s regular and the two men had one thing in common, their love of boxing.
Last year, when the CBS Corp chief told that he’d been dreaming of setting up the ultimate Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, Salvador offered to introduce him to Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer. Roach also mentors Salvador’s teen son.
The eventual meeting between the boxing trainer and the broadcasting mogul was the catalyst that made the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao bout a reality. It was the first of a series of negotiations, which lead to a joint Pay Per View Partnership between the CBS owned Showtime and HBO. The venture is expected to bring in a collective $600 million for everyone involved, except for Salvador.
“My participation was 1 percent of putting things together,” says Salvador, admitting that he hasn’t approached Moonves about compensation yet. “I’d love to go to the fight, maybe bring my son,” Salvador told the Hollywood Reporter. When asked whether he’d be interested in getting a percentage of the profits he said, “something would be nice.”
Salvador’s winning contribution to making the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight happen is even more significant when you consider that the bout had been stalled in negotiations for years. As Complex reports, there’s been lots of back and forth drama between both camps for years.
The thought of a Mayweather Pacquiao match up first started to excite fans in 2008 and negotiations began in earnest in 2009. Mayweather and Pacquiao eventually agreed to fight each other on March 13 2010, but the fight was postponed indefinitely because of litigation coming from the Pacquiao camp. Pac-Man refused to accept Mayweather’s request for Olympic-style drug testing, which would require random drugs tests in the days leading up to the fight. Pacquiao sued the Mayweather team for defamation claiming that the drug test requests implied that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He later withdrew the lawsuit in 2011. In the years between 2010 and today, the fight has been stalled by Mayweather’s irreverent attitude, domestic violence charges, and a Pacquiao KO courtesy Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
All of this wrangling and set-backs could have been put in check by a governing body like what basketball has in the NBA. But boxing doesn’t have that.
This means fans have to depend on luck and go-betweens like Gabriel Salvador to make star fights like the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather bout happen. For that, he deserves a ticket at least.
The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight takes place tonight at the MGM Grand Casino.
[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]