The Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight that once appeared to be lost and gone forever is now closer than ever after the Filipino boxer agreed to a key demand that had been holding back negotiations.
On Monday, Manny Pacquiao announced that the fight was “near” after he agreed to undergo drug testing. Pacquiao had been opposed to the screening, but now has agreed and is so confident that he’s clean that he suggested a $5 million fine for a positive test.
“(The fight) is near. The negotiations are nearly finished,” Pacquiao told reporters on Monday. “We agreed that this fight has to happen. We are ironing out the kinks. He (Mayweather) said he wants the fight to push through.”
The latest development comes after growing fears that the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. mega-fight may never happen. The boxers had come close to making a deal in negotiations that stretched from 2009 and 2010 — even drawing up final contract papers — but the talks fell apart on drug testing demands.
Now, after both Pacquiao and Mayweather have exhausted all other contenders, momentum was steadily growing for them to finally meet in the ring before more issues appeared to get in the way.
Only this time, Pacquiao and Mayweather took matters into their own hands. The boxers met in person for the first time, using a chance meeting at a Miami Heat game to push through some of their differences.
There were even reports last weekend that the two came to terms on a $250 million fight, but Floyd Mayweather Jr. denied that they had put anything in writing just yet.
“No, that’s not true,” Mayweather said. “Um, I haven’t signed yet, and he hasn’t signed yet, you know.”
But like Pacquiao, Mayweather struck a very hopeful tone.
“It’s just been speculations and rumors,” he said. “But hopefully we can make the fight happen.”
But if Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are to come to terms on the fight, they may need to move quickly. They had set a target date of May 2, and time is running out for training and promoters to put together what is expected to be a $300 million bout.