Boxing fans appeared to get a gift on Valentine’s Day, when the Telegraph reported that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were set to officially sign a $250 million contract for a mega-fight based on Pacquiao sources. However, it seems that the report, much like the one that made headlines just two weeks earlier, was premature.
While there is a "cautious optimism" that the bout will get made for May 2 in Las Vegas, multiple reports have refuted the idea that Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is a done deal.
#MayweatherPacquiao deal is nearing finish line one way or other but 2 sources involved said it is NOT done at this point.
â€” Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) February 14, 2015
Two sources say Pacquiao, Mayweather sides are still slogging through lingering issues. No timetable, just say that no deal completed.
â€” Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) February 14, 2015
Those involved in the negotiations say nothing has been officially agreed upon. Because Mayweather has a contract with Showtime and Pacquiao fights for HBO, the two networks need to agree on a joint pay-per-view, and Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza has shot down the report that a deal is done. Top Rank CEO and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, says he’s optimistic, but nothing is set in stone.
â€” Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) February 15, 2015
According to Arum, a contract must be signed in the upcoming week, in order for Mayweather-Pacquiao to happen on the proposed date of May 2. When Mayweather agreed to fight Marcos Maidana on the first Saturday of May last year, an agreement was announced on Feb. 24, 2014.
The reports that say a bout has yet to be agreed upon claim the onus is on Mayweather to make the fight official. Pacquiao has continuously called out Mayweather, but the undefeated boxer seems reluctant to step inside the ring with the No.2 fighter in the world. In the past, Mayweather has cited drug-testing regulations, the proposed split of the purse and Pacquiao’s win-loss record as a deterrent. Others believe Mayweather is afraid to lose and tarnish his perfect record.
Much of the public perception is that Mayweather is holding up what would be one of the biggest events, not only in boxing, but in sports history. The fight would almost certainly set a record for both PPV buys and revenue. Mayweather attended NBA All-Star events on Saturday night at Barclays Center, and was booed heavily when he appeared on the JumboTron.
The current round of negotiations picked up steam in December when Mayweather said on Showtime that he wanted to fight Pacquiao in 2015. The two boxers met for the first time at a Miami Heat game on Jan. 27, and it might be the closest they’ve come to reaching a deal since the two sides first discussed a possible bout in 2009.
Mayweather has not posted a message on Twitter since Feb. 5. There has not been any news of Mayweather in negotiations with any other fighter, though Amir Khan and Miguel Cotto are believed to be the most logical opponents for the champion should a bout with Pacquiao not come to fruition.