Unless some unexpected twist comes and ruins it all, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are finally going to fight in the same ring, probably on May 2 in Las Vegas, as the optimism about the prospects for this event is at an all-time high.
Heck, even Bob Arum is looking optimistic and willing to say that a deal is very very close. Was it just because Mayweather and Pacquiao ran into each other “accidentally” at a Miami Heat game, chatted a bit and then went on to meet for an hour or two at a hotel and flesh things out?
Probably not. This probably has a lot more to do with Arum and the negotiating crew on Pacquiao’s side and Al Haymon on Mayweather side. It’s hard to believe that anything but Mayweather greed and what fans have referred to as “ducking” prevented the fight from happening in the past. But with two more fights left on his deal with Showtime and maybe his career, there isn’t anything else that is going to be as big and earn his as much money.
That, and Pacquiao agreeing to every term. Maybe Mayweather didn’t expect that to happen, but it has, and it seems the only thing standing in the way is the obligations to the networks: Pacquiao to HBO and Mayweather to Showtime. Arum said that there are still a few things to work out, and probably meant the networks finding a way to make this fight happen. While it sounds complicated, there’s so much money for everyone to share that it’s going to be quite foolish is someone drops the ball on this one.
When will it be officially announced? The current buzz is suggesting that they’ll be taking advantage of the record audience in the upcoming Super Bowl and make an announcement before or just after the game. When this fight is going to become a real thing, they’re going to try and milk every cent there is to squeeze out of it.
Is Mayweather no longer afraid? Was he ever? It doesn’t matter. The common belief and probably the true one is that he was the main obstacle all these years, preventing the fight from happening. Something has changed. Maybe it’s the impossible to ignore financial opportunity compared to anything else he has lined up? Maybe it’s his adviser, or the man who actually calls the shots, telling him to take it? Whatever it is, a lot of boxing fans are going to be extremely happy that it’s finally happening in an event that will help crossover to those who aren’t big fans of the sport.