Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has made a new counter-offer to Manny Pacquiao, as behind-the-scenes negotiations continue for their megafight that could happen sometime next year, according to a report Friday by the Philippines news syndicate ABS-CBN News.
The New Year’s Eve offer that may bring the long-sought-after fight one step closer to reality came the same day Pacquiao issued a new challenge to Mayweather via the Filipino icon’s own Twitter feed. In the latest challenge, the 36-year-old Pacquiao called on his 27-year-old rival to help him “make fistory,” by agreeing to the fight.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) December 31, 2014
By most accounts, a fight between competing junior middleweight kings Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, who are also ranked the number one and number three pound-for-pound fighters in the world by The Ring Magazine, would be the richest fight in boxing history.
While Mayweather, as most boxing fans believe, has long avoided fighting Pacquiao due to the Filipino champion’s devastating combination of hand speed and punching power, it was Mayweather himself who ignited the latest surge of optimism that the fight may happen, when in an interview in December, he called for the fight to take place in 2015.
“We are ready. Let’s make it happen. May 2. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Let’s do it,” the Las Vegas-based, and unbeaten champion said in the interview.
But Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, quickly threw cold water on the May 2 date, saying that because of the date’s proximity to the Mexican-American Cinco de Mayo holiday, any major fight on that date must include a Mexican fighter.
According to the ABS-CBN report, however, Mayweather — who himself was promoted by Arum for the first 10 years of his career before an acrimonious split — remains undeterred.
“I spoke to Manny this morning (Dec. 31). I gave Manny what is perceived to be a counter offer from the Mayweather people,” said Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz. “We discussed it and now I’ve given instructions to Bob (Arum) to counter their counter. We’ve been going back and forth. There’s been offers and counter offers, and a couple of days ago Bob called me and gave me allegedly where Floyd’s side is, and I discussed that with Manny two hours ago.”
Koncz said that the ongoing exchange of offers was a “good thing,” but he cautioned that he was “never overly optimistic until the contract is signed.”
Negotiations for a Floyd Mayeweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao megafight have been continuing in fits and starts since 2009, but the latest developments appear to give at least some hope that 2015 might be the year that the fight finally happens.