Boxing

Sources: Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on for March

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Mark Kriegel

   
 
The highly anticipated Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather mega-fight is on for March 13, sources say.
"According to Bob Arum, the main things have been agreed to," Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, said in an exclusive telephone interview this morning from England, where he is training Amir Khan to defend his light-welterweight title Saturday night. A source close to the negotiations says the most likely venues for the fight are Las Vegas or Cowboys Stadium. The purse — which could generate $150 million in pay-per-view revenue — will be split 50-50 between the fighters, according to the source, who adds that there will be a 147-pound weight limit. "One hundred and forty seven is ok with us," said Roach, "but we're still working on some of the other stuff like the gloves. I'm sure (Mayweather) wants 10-ounce gloves. We want eight ounces. But Bob told me he'll take care of all that." On Tuesday, Arum left Las Vegas to the Philippines to present Pacquiao with prospective terms from Mayweather's camp and Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya's company, which is acting as Mayweather's promoter. They did not meet until Thursday afternoon. When the meeting was concluded, Pacquiao called his trainer for approval. "I thought they might want more time to promote the fight," said Roach, "but I like it when Manny is busy." The timing also makes sense given Pacquiao's ambitions. He plans to run for the Philippine Congress on May 10. A March date would give him time to campaign. Boxing fans have been looking forward to a super fight between Pacquiao and the undefeated Mayweather after the Filipino champion defeated Miguel Cotto last month. The March 13 date is just four months after the Cotto fight — a shorter period of time than the six months after Pacquiao defeated Ricky Hatton. But Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz said it will be enough time for Pacquiao to get back in shape. "Nobody knows his body better than Manny," he said. "If Manny feels that that's plenty of time to rest and recover, then you know, he has to do what he feels is right." He said Pacquiao "cannot train for more than seven weeks." Representatives of the Superdome in New Orleans and the new Dallas Cowboys' stadium have expressed interest in hosting the fight, as has the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas, where the fighters have fought their biggest fights. There is also a proposal for a 30,000-seat temporary stadium on the Las Vegas Strip across from the Wynn resort. Oddsmakers are already taking bets on the fight, with most making Mayweather a slight favorite. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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