January 28, 2015
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao Breakthrough: Hotel Meeting Reignites Fight Negotiations

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao met for the first time Tuesday night when, by pure coincidence, the two most successful and sought-after boxers of their era ran into each other courtside at a Miami Heat NBA basketball game. On Wednesday, the two fighters met again — and this time, their conversation appears to have restarted stalled talks for their hoped-for megafight.

As the Inquisitr reported earlier, Pacquiao and Mayweather exchanged private phone numbers at their impromptu courtside meeting at halftime of the game at American Airlines Arena, pictured in a photo, above, posted on Twitter.

Not only was that meeting the first time the two best pound-for-pound boxers in the world had ever met face-to-face, but the occasion came about only because Pacquiao — currently on a United States tour to promote a documentary film about himself — was stranded in Miami after weather conditions made it impossible to find a flight out.

But the stars could be aligning to make the fight happen, because the two followed up on their courtside chat the very next day, with Mayweather dropping by Pacquiao's luxury suite, where the 37-year-old undefeated American and the 36-year-old Filipino icon sat face to face for an hour in what a close Pacquiao associate described as a serious conversation over terms of the potential fight.

"It was a business meeting, but it wasn't a tense business meeting," said Pacquiao confidant Michael Koncz, in an interview with ESPN.com.

"I think that's because they both have mutual respect for each other. We'll determine what will happen over the next couple of days."
The Pacquiao advisor later told the Los Angeles Times that the meeting had already produced one significant breakthrough. The rivalry between premium cable networks HBO, which holds Pacquiao under exclusive contract, and Showtime, which has a similar deal with Mayweather, had been a major obstacle to a Floyd Maywether Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight coming together.

But Koncz told the Times that the two networks were spurred to reach an agreement after the private meeting between Floyd and Manny.

Each network will provide two of its on-air personalities for the four-man broadcast team, and each will produce a one-hour special on its own fighter. But the popular HBO 24/7 and Showtime All Access documentary series, which have been instrumental in generating excitement for previous pay-per-view fights, will not be part of the promotion for this one.

According to Koncz, Manny Pacquiao declared the chance meeting between himself and Floyd Mayweather "God's will." Whether God decides to go ahead with the actual fight itself, however, will likely not be clear for another several days.