After years of waiting, the mega fight between the two best boxers of the last decade seems to be finally coming together. Manny Pacquiao and his team have signed on every stipulation for the proposed May 2 fight. Now all that’s left if for Floyd Mayweather, usually the reason why we still haven’t seen the two in the ring together, to sign as well.
Top Rank, promoting Pacquiao, have been working on this deal for the last two months with Leslie Moonves, the president and CEO of CBS, owner of Showtime, where Mayweather is on contract for two more fights. Moonves has been acting as go between, with Mayweather not having any promotional company working for him, basically making all the decisions himself, or listening to what adviser Al Haymon has been whispering in his ear.
Carl Moretti, the vice president of Top Rank, has said that on Manny’s side, everything is fine, and they’ve agreed to the fight. Now all that’s left is for Mayweather to finally stop avoiding getting in the ring with Manny Pacquiao, and accept the deal for what it is.
And what is the deal? Pacquiao taking 40% of the cut in a fight that should shatter the PPV record, PPV revenue and revenue from the gate. Floyd Mayweahter fought in the two fights that share the three records: His bout with Oscar De La Hoya, viewed by more than 2.4 million, while his fight with Canelo Alvarez set records for PPV revenue ($150 million) and ticket sales, making over $20 million.
Top Rank tried to push the fight to June in order to make way for another big fight they’re planning on in May: Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez, but Mayweather insisted on fighting on May 2. Why? Maybe just to show everyone that he can bend the wills of others to his own, but it doesn’t matter. Top Rank agreed to that.
The gloves were an issue, but both fighters get to pick their own brand of 8-ounce gloves. Mayweather usually fights with Grant, Pacquiao prefers Cleto Reyes. The big elephant in the room has been the drug testing, and Pacquiao has agreed to the random testing of USADA, which has randomly been testing Floyd Mayweather and his opponents for years. Pacquiao has agreed to drug testing in the past, but Mayweather made it seem like it’s a fitting excuse for him to back out of fights.
The network differences (Pacquiao with HBO, Mayweather with Showtime) shouldn’t get in the way. The two have worked together on a big joint PPV bout (Tyson vs Lewis in 2002) and this is the last thing that’s going to get in the way of a fight everyone wants to see happening, even if both fighters are past their prime, and this isn’t what it couldn’t have been in 2009, when it came as close as it ever was until now from happening.
Once again, as it always has been, the ball is in Mayweather’s court. Every demand he has made seems to have been answered. Truly great fighters can’t avoid their biggest opponents just because they’re afraid of losing. The greatest boxers in history lost fights, multiple times. Yet they’re remembered for the great fights they’ve been involved in. Mayweather needs this for the legacy he cares about. Lets hope he doesn’t get cold feet and avoids fighting Pacquiao once again.