Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather met for the first time last week in the most unexpected place: on the court of the American Airlines Arena before a Miami Heat game.
It was not the posturing and nonsense you might expect from today’s boxers who believe making a public spectacle means you are a champion boxer. No, these two men whose fight has been six years in the making, shared a mutual respect.
They met again the next day in Pacquiao’s hotel suite, one-on-one, and now comes word that these combatants, in a one-hour meeting, have knocked down the barriers that have prevented them from meeting in the ring.
So now comes the word from Bob Arum (not exactly the most trusted source, but he does work with Pacquiao) that the two sides are close to an agreement to give boxing fans the fight they had almost given up on. It’s a fight that would give the sport an injection it desperately needs.
The megafight that surely will be the richest in boxing history, with Mayweather earning at least $130 million, should be agreed to in “the next couple days,” Arum told the New York Post Friday.
“Everybody is doing the right thing,” Arum told the newspaper. “We’re looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done.
“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 told the Post of the Miami meeting. “Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and [Pacquiao adviser] Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight.”
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), the 36-year-old Filipino legend, and Arum have repeatedly said they have agreed to all of the terms outlined by Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), who turns 38 in February, during talks with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who has served as the go-between on behalf of Mayweather and his adviser, Al Haymon.
Mayweather has said to fight May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.