The Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao mega-fight appears to moving ever closer to being set in stone after a roller coaster negotiation that has flip-flopped several times in the last few weeks.
It’s been a few months now that the boxers have been working toward finally meeting in the ring, and negotiations may have reached their most promising point yet. After it appeared that the two sides would be unable to come to an agreement, Pacquiao and Mayweather now seem to be much closer to a deal than ever before.
Reports had circulated in recent days that the fight may have fallen apart. Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, said earlier this month that the broadcast issues had already been worked out between HBO and Showtime, but hopes were dashed when Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza later denied this report.
But that changed as well. New reports over the weekend indicated that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. had signed a contract for a fight. In an interview on TNT during its broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game, Mayweather denied that he signed a contract but sounded hopeful about the mega fight coming together.
“No, that’s not true,” Mayweather said. “Um, I haven’t signed yet, and he hasn’t signed yet, you know.
“It’s just been speculations and rumors. But hopefully we can make the fight happen.”
But many observers think the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight is growing inevitable, and that both sides will work out their remaining differences in short order.
As Guardian writer Kevin Mitchell noted, the pressure might be growing too large for either fighter to back out now:
“The clock is tolling its closing seconds over Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather this weekend, and there is nothing either of them can do to beat the count. If these two extraordinary fighters do not agree very soon to meet in the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on 2 May for their respective world welterweight titles, they will incur not only the wrath of millions of fans but that of the industry suits who have paid them and indulged them since this fight was first mooted in late 2009.”
There could be another, much more pivotal factor in pressing the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight along – the giant payday. The contract that Mayweather denied signing was rumored to be for $250 million, and others have estimated that the fight will generate up to $300 million in revenue.