Deal or no deal? Reports conflict on Pacquiao-Mayweather bout
A report from ESPN said the two sides are not close to agreeing on TV terms and that an official announcment won’t happen before the middle of next week.
An arrangement between HBO, which has Pacquiao under contract, and Showtime, which has a deal with Mayweather, would have to be reached on a pay-per-view telecast if the fight happens. The two companies reached a deal in a similar situation in 2002 for a heavyweight championship fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.
A megafight between Pacquiao and Mayweather, almost certain to be the richest fight in the sport’s history, has been rumored for years. The two sides have been close to an agreement on multiple occasions, but talks ramped up this week after the two fighters met at a Miami Heat game Tuesday night.
The fighters met publicly during halftime of that game, and ESPN reported they met again in private the day after the game. Several outlets have reported since that encounter that the two sides are actively trying to reach a deal.
The 37-year-old Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) is the WBA and WBC welterweight champion. Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) is the WBO welterweight titleholder and is 36 years old.
Mayweather said last month that he’s ready to make the fight happen May 2. Asked Tuesday if that date can finally be the one, Pacquiao, who has said it’s time to give boxing fans what they want, nodded and said "Yes."
When Mayweather said he wanted the May 2 fight to happen, he said Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum had been the main obstacle for it not coming together in the past five years. Mayweather repeated his old charges about Pacquiao not wanting to do blood tests prior to the fight for it not happening five years ago.
He also has no doubt that he could beat Pacquiao.
"I know that he’s not on my level," Mayweather said last month.
Pacquiao has a similar confidence, recently saying on Twitter:
I can easily beat @FloydMayweather, I believe that.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) January 20, 2015