Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao could finally be meeting in the ring, and Winter Storm Juno may be to thank.
Pacquiao was set to be flying out of Miami on Tuesday, but the winter weather left his flight canceled and Manny stuck in Miami for the night. So, to pass the time, Pacquiao decided to hit up the Miami Heat game against the Milwaukee Bucks — a game that Floyd Mayweather Jr. just happened to be attending.
The two were sitting courtside opposite each other, and at halftime went to meet each other in person for the first time ever. As Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press noted, the meeting was very fruitful and may help the fighters overcome the stalemate in negotiations for the bout.
Reynolds reported from his Twitter account.
“Pacquiao says Mayweather gave him his cell number and told him it’s time for them to work this fight out themselves. Pac says he got told 1 minute before halftime that Floyd was coming over for a chat. Pacquiao said he never spoke to Floyd in person before tonight. Thank Winter Storm Juno if this fight ever happens. Pac wasn’t supposed to be here tonight — but his flight was canceled.”
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports confirmed that the two boxers appeared to make headway in negotiations for their fight.
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) January 28, 2015
For years, it seemed as if a Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight would never happen. The two came close to arranging a fight in 2009, even getting so far as to draw up an eight-page contract, but it fell apart after Pacquiao’s camp objected to Mayweather’s request for drug testing.
The two have been once again working on a bout, this time with a date of May 2 circled, but it appeared that the negotiations were once again falling apart. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said that Manny already has a backup fight planned for May 30 if the Mayweather bout falls through.
“A lot of places around the world want to host a Manny Pacquiao fight,” Arum said.
“He’s an international icon, and I have been approached by a number of people looking to host a Manny Pacquiao fight.”
Mayweather had also objected to Arum even being involved in scheduling the fight. Arum worked as Mayweather’s promoter until 2006, when the two had a falling out and parted on bad terms.
But the unexpected meeting between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is now raising hopes that the fight may indeed come together.