Manny Pacquiao Vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Fight Reportedly Closer Than Ever, Could Have $200 Million Purse

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. could finally be headed for their long-anticipated super-bout, and it may come with a record-smashing purse.

After Pacquiao defeated Chris Algieri in November, it seemed he had no other contenders left to fight except Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Though the two had never been able to work out the details for a bout, sources close to both camps are indicating that the fight is closer than ever.

Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, has been talking up the fight and is reportedly spearheading negotiations with CBS chief Les Moonves about how the fight would be arranged — Pacquaio fights for HBO, while Mayweather’s bouts are carried by Showtime, whose parent company is CBS.

But despite the reports that a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight is closer than ever, some believe that Mayweather could again be trying to delay the bout. Sports Illustrated quoted a source that claimed Mayweather is trying to get two-thirds of the revenue from the fight, which likely wouldn’t sit well with Pacquiao.

Many insiders believe the tactic may be Mayweather’s attempt to derail the fight, much as his insistence on stringent blood and urine testing stopped a 2010 fight from moving forward.

It may be hard for either fighter to back out of the bout, however. The same Sports Illustrated report claimed that the total purse for the fight could top $200 million, a difficult figure for either fighter to turn down.

The report noted:

Recently, promoter M. Akbar Muhammad, a boxing executive and one of the principals of an Abu Dhabi-based investment group, offered a $110 million purse to Mayweather and combined purses of $200 million for the right to stage Pacquiao-Mayweather in the United Arab Emirates. Arum says that while he has not seen the proposal, he has no objection to the fight taking place abroad.

Arum also denied that Mayweather was demanding two-thirds of the purse, saying that number was not accurate. For comparison, Mayweather earned a $32 million purse for his victory over Marcos Maidana earlier this year.

Bob Arum said if the numbers are of the total purse are true, he wouldn’t have any problem bringing Manny Pacquiao to Abu Dhabi for the fight.

“If Mayweather signs on, if the deal with us is OK, we have no objection to fighting in Abu Dhabi,” Arum said. “Do I know whether it is real, if it’s real money, of course not. I’m not paying any attention to it. Until they get Mayweather, there is no reason to. There is an awful lot of oil money in the Middle East, and there are people who don’t care about making a profit, but do it for other reasons.”

If the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight finally does come together, insiders say it would likely take place in May, 2015.

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