It should come as no surprise that the negotiations for the mandatory fight between unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin and secondary titlist Daniel Jacobs are not exactly going smoothly.
The fight, the most interesting GGG could make other than one against Canelo Alvarez, is under discussions to take place Dec. 10 in an HBO main event at a venue in New York, either Madison Square Garden (Golovkin's preference) or Barclays Center (where Jacobs has close ties).
But it is a hard deal to make. The WBA ordered the fight and gave the camps -- Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions on GGG's behalf and Jacobs' adviser Al Haymon -- until Oct. 12 to make a deal or a purse bid would be ordered.
But the sides apparently aren't getting anywhere in the negotiations. Gilberto Mendoza Jr., president of the WBA, told ESPN.com that there has been discussion by the Jacobs side of a possible interim bout before facing Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs), although Golovkin does not want an interim fight. He wants to do the mandatory fight with Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) as soon as possible, especially because it is such an attractive fight.
Also, Mendoza said that attorney Leon Margules, "on behalf of Jacobs, requested a change in the distribution percentage of the bid. The championship committee is deliberating."
Typically, a mandatory fight between a "super champion" (Golovkin in this case) and a "regular champion" (Jacobs) is a 75-25 split in the event of a purse bid with the lion's share going to the "super champion."
However, Mendoza said that Jacobs is seeking a 60-40 split (in GGG's favor).
"It has changed in some cases, but usually they are not changed," Mendoza said.
Furthermore, Mendoza said that Loeffler has requested the organization simply call a purse bid. If it goes to a bid, things could get messy if the Jacobs side wins because then Haymon would control the fight and probably look to place it on a Premier Boxing Champions card or Showtime. That is a nonstarter, most likely because Golovkin has an exclusive contract with HBO, the network that has built him into a star.
Mendoza said neither the request for the change of the purse split has not been decided nor has the date for the purse bid.
"Even though the purse bid was requested, Tom called me to allow him some days to talk with Jacobs' team," Mendoza said. "The purse bid split-percentage decision will be announced on Monday. [The split] has not been set yet."
Loeffler is holding out hope they can make a deal.
"Still trying to work out the situation," Loeffler said on Friday. "The WBA hasn't ruled yet on the purse-split modification [request] from the Jacobs side."
Whatever happens, expect this to go down to the wire.