Pacquiao and Mayweather Meet in Miami: A Sign of Things to Come?
- Updated: January 28, 2015
Just as it began to seem that rumors of a negotiation for a Mayweather-Pacquiao super-fight in 2015 had become just another falsehood in a long line of gossip that has surrounded the two fighters for years, along comes a simple meeting of the two pugilists at a basketball game (of all places) in Miami to, once again, stir the pot of what could potentially be the sport’s richest fight ever.
On Tuesday night in Miami, the buzz throughout the arena for a matchup between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks wasn’t centered on anything basketball related, but rather on two celebrities who just so happened to be sitting across from each other during the game. Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe, just maybe, it was something more. While undefeated pound-for-pound star Floyd Mayweather is a regular at Heat games these days, Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao only happened to be in the arena on Tuesday because he was serving as a judge at the Miss Universe pageant on the previous Sunday. Pacquiao’s crew had plans to travel to New York after the pageant was over, but the massive blizzard that has recently rocked the north east made the team decide to stick around town a while longer.
At halftime, the two future Hall of Famers came together and exchanged pleasantries. “He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other” Pacquiao said, according to the associated press. Adding to the significance of the event is the face that, as bizarre as it seems given that one’s name is hardly mentioned without the other’s in mind , the two have never actually met in person, despite Pacquiao being on the undercard of a Mayweather fight back in 2001. When asked to clarify if the exchange of numbers indicated that the two would negotiate directly about a potential fight, Pacquiao simply stated that was indeed the reason.
Michael Koncz, who is Pacquiao’s advisor, was a bit more evasive regarding the meeting between the two. “We did meet and chat, but I don’t want to say what we discussed”. The idea of the two sides talking about anything other than setting up a fight, and making untold millions in the process, seems beyond absurd. Nevertheless, perhaps it is better not to show your hand too soon, right?
Immediately after the greeting, social media came alive like it never has before for a potential fight. Some said it was purely a coincidence that Pacquiao and Mayweather just happened to be in the same building at the same time that night, and yet others felt that this was only the beginning of a series of events that would, undoubtedly, lead to sport’s highest grossing event of all time, if only both camps could come to terms.
Pacquiao, who seemed much more willing to talk than his advisor did, stated that he wants the deal with Mayweather wrapped up by the end of January. Why? Because to promote such a monumental campaign for a fight of this caliber is going to take longer than the average promotional campaign would, and time is of the essence. Better yet, according to sources involved in the negotiations, the camps have exchanged a deal memo that outlines the more significant aspects of an agreement for the fight. If both sides come to terms, they will be put into a long-term contract.
Mayweather, who is under contract with CBS/Showtime, has been using CBS CEO Leslie Moonves as a go-between on behalf of himself and Al Haymon, And as rumor has it, Arum, Moonves, and Haymon have met twice since Christmas to negotiate a deal that would satisfy all parties. Arum recently told ESPN.com that despite the issues that Haymon and himself have had over the years, that they “are on the same page” as far as trying to make a deal for a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout.
While there has been extraordinary enthusiasm for this fight since 2009, this is the first time that both sides have truly been in agreement. Whether it be an issue of money of drug testing procedures, neither camp really made a strong effort to negotiate effectively in order to make the fight a reality. However, such events as the meeting in Miami on Tuesday between the two best fighters of their generation have given boxing fans some hope that 2015 will finally be the year that speculation and arguments cease, and the real fight can finally commence.