What has been brewing to become the boxing fight of the century seems to be at its final stretch — almost done, sources say.
After their paths crossed recently at a basketball game, and later on, at a hotel room, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have allegedly finalized the agreement about the mega bout, which, according to insider sources, will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2.
In a phone interview, Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank and Pacquiao’s promoter, confirmed that the arrangements are so close to being done; so close that he even teased that it is highly possible that the official announcement may coincide with Super Bowl Sunday.
Arum said, “We have two days, it could happen (Sunday). That would be incredible, wouldn’t it?”
Arum, who has been very vocal about his disgust with the purported delays from Mayweather’s camp, showed a complete change of attitude that only strengthened claims about the fulfillment of the historic face-off between this generation’s two front-runners in the world of boxing.
Arum expressed his optimism about the realization of the projected quarter of a billion dollars worth of battle inside the ring, saying, “We’re making progress. It’s going in the right direction. Everybody looks like they’re digging down to make this happen. We’re just trying to complete the paperwork. I say a couple of days because Floyd has dug in to fighting on May 2 and every day it takes to finalize the fight it takes away from the promotion of it.”
One of the major issues holding up the widely requested match has been the broadcast rights. The point of conflict has always rested upon the fact that Mayweather is under CBS/Showtime and Pacquiao is with the Time Warner/HBO management.
Entertainment Sports and Programming Network (ESPN), however, pointed out that both networks have actually an option to negotiate for both parties to have pay-per-view (PPV) rights, which has been done before during the fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.
Showtime spokesperson Chris DeBlasio claimed that their company has opened their lines of communication, saying, “Floyd Mayweather has agreed to the fight, but there are deal points still to work out but progress is being made.”
Staying true to his new, positive outlook, Arum emphasized that the long wait may soon be over, noting, “No one of the remaining points are too big to overcome.”