After years of false starts, name-callings, provocations, memes and failed negotiations, the match is officially a done deal. The welterweight championship match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is scheduled for May 2 at Las Vegas’s MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The announcement was the anticipated result of a chance Mayweather and Pacquiao encounter for the first time at a Miami Heat basketball game on Jan. 27, and again later that evening in Pacquiao’s hotel suite to discuss terms of the fight.
During the chance encounter, fight announcement and his one-on-one meeting with Pacquiao, Mayweather is rather cordial and not provocative, as he was before. You can’t call him a chicken anymore now that he’s finally bitten the bullet and taken the plunge.
As part of the agreement for what will be the most lucrative showdown in fight history, Mayweather made the announcement via his account on the social media web site Shots.com, bringing to an end years of frustration and conjecture that seemed destined to keep the sport’s two highest-profile athletes apart.
What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, is a done deal. I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it! This is the signed contract from both fighters.
He will make upwards of $100 million when he meets Pacquiao, from the Philippines. Pacquiao (57-5-2) has long admitted that he was agreeable to a 60%-40% split of revenue in Mayweather’s favor, while pay-per-view revenues are expected to far exceed the current record of $150 million, from Mayweather’s fight with Saul Alvarez in 2013.
For his part, Manny Pacquiao has also confirmed the news, much to the joy of every boxing fans, especially Filipinos.
“This is the right fight for boxing. (The match between) Floyd Mayweather Jr. and I is the fight boxing fans have wanted for years and I am looking forward to it. I will be representing my fans and my country and trying to bring glory to the Philippines.”
From years-long negotiation stalemates that saw Bob Arum and Freddie Roach trade barbs, negotiations steadily picked up pace since end of last year and overcame a major hurdle when rival cable companies Showtime (which has an exclusive deal with Mayweather) and HBO (which broadcasts Pacquiao fights) agreed to a split arrangement whereby both could sell the contest on pay per view.
Start looking for pay-per-views, live streaming or tickets. If there’s bets, there are plenty of them going around, and word has it Mayweather Jr. has the top chance with Pacquiao settling back for the underdog status, a branding he doesn’t mind of, at all.
The world will be watching, you, I and all.