It looked like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were finally set to agree on the fight that fans have been waiting to see for years. The two boxers finally met in person, and had an hour-long meeting last week, trying to get a deal done for a bout on May 2. A week later, though, the fighters have yet to sign a contract, and the odds of the sport’s top stars ever meeting in the ring appear to be dwindling.
After Mayweather and Pacquiao spoke face to face, an announcement was expected to be made by the Super Bowl. What’s the hold up in getting a deal done?
The biggest obstacle in making the mega-fight happen seemed to be the potential broadcast. Mayweather has two more fights left on his Showtime contract, and Pacquiao is signed to HBO. The two networks would have to agree to a joint pay-per-view, but that might not be a major issue.
“We are not an impediment to this fight,” read a statement from HBO Sports on Monday. “We stand ready to go. The principals need to agree to terms and come to a deal.
If Showtime and HBO aren’t to blame, than either Pacquiao or Mayweather might be holding up the fight. According to Pacquiao’s camp, it makes little sense that the fight has yet to be made.
"There are issues that should be solved in 10 minutes, but it's a slow dance," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com. "We send one draft to their side and their lawyer sends back a draft with something else that's an issue. And there doesn't seem to be any urgency about it on their side. It's terrible."
Arum and Pacquiao have been very vocal during the current round of negotiations. While Pacquiao has called out Mayweather on social media and given Mayweather a deadline (which has now been extended), Arum continues to talk about the fight in public. The promoter, who has said that Mayweather was afraid to fight Pacquiao, announced last week that the bout would likely be agreed upon a few days later. Now, he claims time is running out for the boxers to meet on May 2.
"I've asked (CBS chief executive) Les (Moonves) to expeditiously handle the points there are issues with," said Arum. "Moonves can handle it. The question is whether the Mayweather side will listen to him. If they're sincere about trying to make the fight it shouldn't be an issue, or are they playing a game? I don't know. I go back and forth. I thought they were always playing a game, that Floyd didn't want the fight.”
Mayweather has been very quiet, only recently discounting a report that said he agreed to a deal with Pacquiao. Over the last few years, the undefeated boxer and his camp have put much of the onus on Arum, saying the promoter is the one getting in the way of making the bout happen.
Reports claim that Pacquiao has agreed to a 60-40 split of the purse, as well as the drug-testing regulations that Mayweather has demanded. If a deal isn’t agreed upon soon, Mayweather-Pacquiao might not happen in the first half of 2015.