Manny Pacquiao: Imminent Megafight vs. Floyd Mayweather Is Best Thing for Boxing
After years of speculation, trash talk and back-and-forth nonsense, it seems that boxing's two biggest stars are finally on the cusp of hammering out a deal that will put an end to all of the debate and speculation once and for all.
Finally, we will know which one is the real champion. If all goes according to plan, that is.
The dialogue took a turn for the better this week when Pacquiao, in an appearance on ESPN2's First Take, said he would take less money than Mayweather if it meant they could finally square off in the ring. ESPN.co.UK reports that the fight could happen within the next 18 months, and Pacquiao would agree to a 45-55 percent split that will allow Mayweather to come out with more money, even in the event that he loses.
According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, Pacquiao also agreed to random drug testing if it means he and Mayweather can finally come to terms.
On First Take, via Rafael, Pacquiao said:
I'm waiting for that fight to happen. I don't know what's the reason why that fight has not happened. ... It's OK for me if he gets a higher percentage than me.
It could still take time for a deal to be forged and a date to be set. At the very least, it will have to wait until after Pacquiao faces Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8—and if Pacquiao loses, there likely wouldn't be any Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup at all.
But hopefully that won't happen.
It seems as though this is the closest we've ever been to actually seeing this megafight come into fruition. For so many months, both boxers made excuses—one was scared, one wouldn't agree to drug testing, one wouldn't agree to the pay split.
This is about more than the fact that the constant speculation—which one is truly the best?—will stop. It's about the fact that boxing will finally get the epic fight that it needs in order to stay relevant. It's about the fact that the fans will finally be getting the fight they've been waiting and waiting for but didn't think would actually happen.
Now, by virtue of Pacquiao, it seems that all of those hurdles have been cleared. Pacquiao has agreed to be the bigger man. He's agreed to all Mayweather's terms and has proven that he is ready to demonstrate his worth not in a reporters' scrum, but in the ring.
There are two possible outcomes to this: Either this fight finally gets a date, or Mayweather finds some other excuse to put it off. And in that case, we'll know which one really is scared.
However, it seems as though this fight is finally going to happen. As long as Mayweather agrees to the split—which, by all indications, he should—boxing fans will get to see the fight they've been waiting years to see and boxing will get what could be the most lucrative fight in the history of the sport.
Everybody wins, fingers crossed.
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