Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will meet face-to-face one final time before the week of what is all but guaranteed to be the most profitable fight in boxing history. A press conference for the mega-fight has been scheduled for March 11 in Los Angeles, as the sport’s top two athletes begin promotion for their May 2 bout.
Only credentialed media members will be allowed to attend the event, which will be no ordinary press conference. Even though the two fighters have never fought, they’ve engaged in a feud that has lasted for five years, and have only been seen together in public once.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao nearly became official in 2009, and there were multiple failed attempts to make the fight until it finally became official on Feb. 20. The boxers met for the first time in person on Jan. 27 when they attended the same Miami Heat game, and they spoke for about an hour later than night. Up until that point, most of the interaction between Mayweather and Pacquiao consisted of barbs that they traded through interviews and different forms of social media.
The two boxers appear to respect each other, and now that the bout is official, they can settle the debate surrounding who is the best fighter of this generation. But over the last few years, both Pacquiao and Mayweather have taken shots at one another, sparking somewhat of a rivalry.
Bad blood first developed between the two sides when issues over drug testing held up the fight. Pacquiao even threatened to take legal action, after feeling that Mayweater and his camp had accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Issues such as drug testing regulations and a split of the purse were soon no longer major hold ups in making the fight, after Pacquiao’s camp has publicly agreed to Mayweather’s terms in late 2013. As Mayweather went on to face Marcos Maidana twice in 2014, instead of Pacquiao, the Filipino icon continued to call out the undefeated boxer for not fighting him.
Pacquiao and his camp had intimated on multiple occasions that Mayweather was afraid to lose the fight, and PacMan continued to call out his opponent as the current round of negotiations got more and more serious.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) November 26, 2014
.@FloydMayweather, don't be a boxing humbug. Let's give the fans the fight they want. They have waited long enough.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) December 16, 2014
Refuting claims that he was ducking a fight with Pacquiao, Mayweather has never been shy about suggesting that PacMan isn’t in his league, as both a boxer and a pay-per-view draw. After Pacquiao was defeated twice in 2012, Mayweather intimated that Pacquiao would have to prove his worth, before a mega-fight would happen. Shortly after Pacquiao beat Chris Algieri for his third consecutive victory, Mayweather taunted his May 2 opponent by posting a video of Pacquiao getting knocked out on Instagram.
The back-and-forth between the two boxers has diminished in recent weeks, and they are less than two months away from meeting in the ring. The trash talk could start up again at the press conference, though, as Mayweather and Pacquiao get ready to promote one of the biggest sporting events in history.