MANNY Pacquiao finds himself in another battle, this time with a waiter who claims to have significantly helped pave the way for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. megafight last year and is now suing the eight-division world boxing champ's camp for a supposedly promised percentage of the match's record-breaking revenue.
Gabriel Salvador, a waiter and part-time actor, sued Pacquiao, trainer Freddie Roach, CBS Corp. and Showtime for the unpaid finder's fee he claimed he was owed for setting up the pivotal meeting that led to the May 2, 2015 bout that raked in more than $430 million in revenue.
According to Stephen Battaglio of the Los Angeles Times, Salvador is asking for 'no less' than the $8.6 million verbally promised to him by CBS and Roach.
Salvador claims to have known Roach because the famous trainer handled his son so he was a frequent visitor at the Wildcard Gym. His job at Craig's, a popular West Hollywood restaurant flocked by personalities in the entertainment world, allowed him to form a friendship with CBS chairman Leslie Moonves mainly due to their boxing passion.
His privileged position made him the bridge between Roach and Moonves that started the initial talks for setting up the superbout. In Salvador's complaint, he shared that he coordinated the first meeting between the two at the Scarpetta restaurant in Beverly Hills.
It was there, Salvador said, that he was promised a finder's fee equivalent to 2 percent of the gross proceeds Pacquiao and CBS would receive, if the event gets staged. He also cites Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum's quotes during the fight announcement that acknowledged his role in making the event happen.
Salvador also detailed that since receiving $10,000 for his hotel and travel expenses in attending the fight, he has not received any compensation. He has approached Moonves about it, and the CBS head directed him to Roach's handler Nick Khan of Creative Artists Agency.
But according to Salvador, he got no reply and was instead contacted by Keith Davidson who claimed to be an associate of Pacquiao.
Davidson, also named in the suit, then offered Salvador $50,000 and was issued threats of losing his job at Craig's and that he'd 'never work as an actor in this town again' should he turn down the offer and free CBS and Pacquiao from their agreement.
Salvador refused, and has since received an apology from Khan, as detailed in the complaint. He's also still employed at Craig's.