Boxing fans have been waiting to see Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao for a long time, and it’s looking more and more likely that the bout will happen in 2015. According to Pacquiao promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, an agreement is imminent.
“Everybody is doing the right thing,” Arum told The New York Post on Friday. “We’re looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done.”
The report states that the major details of a contract have been agreed upon. The biggest sticking points over the last five years, including drug-testing regulations and a split of the revenue, have reportedly been sorted out. Since Mayweather fights on Showtime and Pacquiao has a contract with HBO, the two networks still need to come to terms on a joint pay-per-view, but sources tell The Post that it shouldn’t be a problem.
Talk of the fight happening, which has been speculated about since 2009, picked up steam again in December. The two sides have been negotiating for weeks, and Pacquiao announced that he agreed to his portion of the contract. A week ago, it looked like the fans would be left disappointed again, when Pacquiao gave Mayweather a deadline and speculation began that the undefeated boxer could take on Miguel Cotto in his next fight, instead. However, the tide turned on Tuesday, when boxing’s top stars met in person for the first time.
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao attended an NBA game between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. Sitting courtside, the two welterweights spoke briefly at halftime and exchanged numbers. After the game, Mayweather and Pacquiao, along with adviser Michael Koncz, met for over an hour, discussing a potential mega-bout.
“I think it helped a lot because we were all putting papers together, and there was still a question as to whether Floyd really wanted to do the fight or not,” Arum said. “Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight.”
During the current round of negotiations, Arum said that the sport’s biggest stars have never met in the ring because Mayweather is afraid to lose. The 37-year-old is 47-0 in his career, with two fights remaining on his Showtime contract. He’s stated multiple times that he intends to retire at 49-0, when his current deal runs out. Mayweather has said Arum’s involvement has been the reason he’s never fought Pacquiao.
If a fight is agreed upon, it’s likely to take place on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where Mayweather has fought his last 10 bouts. The undefeated boxer has also fought on the Saturday before Cinco de Mayo in each of the last two years.