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Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight Officially Announced for May 2 at MGM Grand

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2015

Getty/AP Images

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are officially set to square off in the long-awaited fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mayweather announced the fight on Friday.

Continue for updates.


Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight Announced 

Friday, Feb. 20

Floyd Mayweather announced on Shots.com that he will fight Pacquiao on May 2: 

On Feb. 19, Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported that Mayweather and Pacquiao agreed to a one-fight deal with no rematch clause.

Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix previously reported that "virtually all lingering issues resolved" with regards to a potential fight. Mannix also reported that if news broke, it would come from Mayweather's social media accounts. 


Mayweather-Pacquiao Deal Reportedly Spans 3 Fights

Thursday, Feb. 19

Dan Rafael of ESPN reported that if a deal between Mayweather and Pacquiao gets done, it will be for three fights, and that "Main Event, Top Rank and Mayweather Promotions would each make one fight of their choice".   


Mayweather Will Fight on May 2, MGM Grand Reserved

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Tuesday, Feb. 17

According to a release from Showtime, via Boxing247.com, there will be up to eight live events across CBS and Showtime networks in 2015. The most prominent will feature the undefeated Floyd Mayweather on May 2 on pay-per-view.   

MLive.com's Jim Kinney reported the MGM Grand is reserved for May 2, according to Jim Murren, MGM Resorts international chairman and CEO:

The MGM Grand is reserved May 2, presumably for the long-awaited and much-negotiated Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight. …

"We are going to have a fight. We hope it's a big, big fight," Murren said.  "If it is the fight we hope it is, then it is the biggest fight."


Pacquiao Wants $5 Million Drug Fine for Potential Mayweather Fight

Monday, Feb. 16

Pacquiao commented on drug testing as it relates to the potential superfight against Floyd Mayweather and confirmed he proposed a $5 million fine for use of illegal drugs. Paolo Romero of The Philippine Star added more details, including the point that Pacquiao "said he asked that the provision be included in the contract because of Mayweather’s repeated allegations that he was using performance-enhancing drugs."

Romero shared this quote from Pacquiao:  

I’ve no problem with drug testing. In fact, in the contract, I was the one who suggested the $5 million fine if one is tested positive for drugs. I was the one who inserted that because that’s needed.


Pacquiao Announced Agreement for Fight Has Been Reached

Monday, Feb. 16

Pacquiao admitted there is no contract yet for a superfight with Mayweather, via The Manila Standard. But he remained optimistic, saying "there’s a big chance it will happen on May 2." The Manila Standard provided further details:

Pacquiao who was in congress admitted that “there is no contract but there is an agreement” which means the two fighters and their negotiators have agreed on the salient points on the May 2 date, the MGM Grand Garden Arena venue in  Las Vegas, random blood tests and the revenue sharing which was reportedly 60-40 percent in favor of Mayweather.

Pacquiao squelched insinuations that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who has been at bitter odds with Mayweather was the stumbling block to getting a deal done. He said Arum is not the problem, “the problem is to get Mayweather to say okay.”


Mayweather Commented on Negotiations During NBA All-Star Game

Sunday, Feb. 15

Mayweather was interviewed during the NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden and was asked for an update on fight negotiations between his camp and Pacquiao. Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead captured the highlight of his response: 

Jason McIntyre @jasonrmcintyre

Mayweather on the fight: "That's not true. I haven't signed. He hasn't signed ... I'm Mayweather, we have to make it happen in May."

Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph previously reported that the deal between Pacquiao and Mayweather is nearly complete: 

A source close to the Filipino boxer and congressman revealed to The Sunday Telegraph that Pacquiao completed his contractual agreements on Saturday and that Mayweather is set to sign and will announce the contest which is expected to be worth $250 million (£162 million) in the coming days.

Mayweather was in New York on Friday, buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewellery, and there are indications that the unbeaten American boxer could even decide to announce the superfight officially at the NBA All-Star Game tip-off, which takes place on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

“Manny has 100 per cent signed his side of the deal,” the source told Telegraph Sport. “It is now over to Mayweather to close the deal and announce the fight.”


Floyd Mayweather Sr. Weighed in on Fight 

Thursday, Feb. 12

Mayweather's father, Floyd Sr., talked to Hustle Boss about his thoughts on the potential fight:


Pacquiao to Begin 'Serious Training' for Upcoming Bout

Thursday, Feb. 12

Manny Pacquiao posted a photo on Instagram, where he told fans he would be beginning "serious training" for an upcoming bout. The boxer declined to name the opponent in that fight at the time, however:


Showtime Executive Commented on Negotiations 

Tuesday, Feb. 10

Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza was asked a question on Twitter regarding if Floyd Mayweather was delaying the fight with Manny Pacquiao. Espinoza claimed that it wasn't Mayweather who was holding up the fight. 


WBO President Doubted Floyd-Manny Would Take Place

Monday, Feb. 9

On Feb. 9, WBO President Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel shared his thoughts on the chances of Floyd Mayweather taking on Manny Pacquiao, via FightHype.com's Percy Crawford. Valcarcel said he doubted the superfight would happen and explained his reasoning:

You have too much stuff all around the board that have to be agreed too; Showtime, HBO, promoters and all kinds of things. I have my doubts that the fight will take place. I don't even like to mention the fight because I'm not directly dealing with that, but reading the comments from the press, one time they say they're gonna fight and the next day they say they won't fight. And then another day they say somebody is lying and then they say the fight was already signed. I don't know what really happened. People want to see Mayweather and Pacquiao and I want to see Mayweather and Pacquiao, but again, like I tell you before, I got my doubts that that fight is going to happen. You got too much stuff there to come to terms and agree to and it's not easy when you're dealing with two, three, four, five, six and seven parts; not easy...not easy.

Another person expressing doubts about the chances of the fight happening was 50 Cent, who discussed it with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

Chris Mannix @ChrisMannixYS

Saw @50cent in the SI office. Said he still doesn't think @FloydMayweather will fight Manny Pacquiao. Said 50: "He's scared to death."


Mayweather: 'Of Course We Have to Make This Fight Happen'

Sunday, Feb. 8

Floyd Mayweather uploaded a video to Instagram confessing to Pacquaio and his camp his desire to give fans the fight they want to see:


Arum Discussed Contract Negotiations

Thursday, Feb. 5

Manny Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum talked about how far the two camps have progressed and where they currently stand, via Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press:

Arum told The Associated Press that the rival networks have come to terms on an announcing team and other details for the pay-per-view blockbuster, and that talks this week have narrowed the remaining differences between the Mayweather and Pacquiao camps.

"We had four issues and we resolved two. Now we're working on resolving the other two. Unless something else comes up at the last minute, that's what my take is."

Dahlberg added more details on the financials:

Arum said the major financial points of the fight have been agreed to, including a reported 60-40 split in the purse in Mayweather's favor. Based on the fight doing a record $200 million or more in revenue, Mayweather's payday could be at least $120 million.

ESPN's Dan Rafael reported that things might not be as close as Arum suggests:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

BOTH networks have told me in the past half hour that, no, they DO NOT have #MayweatherPacquiao broadcast deal, regardless of Arum comments.

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

#MayweatherPacquiao threat level remains yellow.

Arum previously had put the ball in Mayweather's court, suggesting he never actually wanted the fight according to Lem Satterfield of RingTV.com.


Mayweather and Pacquiao Met Again to Discuss Fight 

Thursday, Feb. 5

Mayweather posted a statement to his Shots.com account on Feb. 5 regarding a meeting he had with Pacquiao:

I set up this meeting with Manny Pacquiao to get this fight done but they will continue to tell the public it's us and that's NOT TRUE. So while we wait y'all go TELL A FRIEND to download Shots ASAP so I can keep you all updated on the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, that we are trying to make happen or follow @fighthype on here, IG, Twitter & Facebook or visit www.fighthype.com for the best Boxing & MMA updates.


HBO President Commented on Fight

Thursday, Feb. 5 

Greg Logan of Newsday provided comments from HBO Sports' Ken Hershman on Feb. 5: 

As negotiations for a megafight between welterweight champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao drag on, HBO Sports president Ken Hershman Wednesday reinforced his network's position that it has done all it can to facilitate the fight.

"Our position has been consistent throughout this whole process," Hershman said at a Madison Square Garden news conference announcing heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's April 25 bout against Bryant Jennings.

We're here to stand by and help wherever we can to make this fight happen. We're not an impediment to that happening, and we'll do what's necessary from our end. Then, it's up to the principals.

Michael Woods of TheSweetScience.com provided more from Hershman:

Michael Woods @Woodsy1069

Hershman: “As a fight fan like you, Michael, I hope this gets made. We’re not doing anything to be an impediment. That’s as much as I can.."

Michael Woods @Woodsy1069

(cont): "..“say, and I hope we have some great news to announce in the coming days." http://t.co/DTloX3FELj


HBO/Showtime Issues Lingered as Fight Negotiations Carried on

Monday, Feb. 2

On Feb. 2, Money posted an Instagram photo with the hashtag "#FightNotMadeYet" along with this comment: "Laying back, relaxing, enjoying good weather, palm trees and piña coladas. While they continue to lie about making the fight... I'm just going to continue to travel and explore the world on my private jet":    

Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports also reported on Saturday that there are issues between HBO and Showtime holding up the fight:

There are substantial issues to be resolved between Showtime, which has Mayweather under contract, and HBO, which has an exclusive deal with Pacquiao. An impasse in those talks is HBO's insistence on being able to show the replay of the pay-per-view, one source said.

HBO responded to the claims on Monday, via Dan Rafael of ESPN:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

For 1st time in the #MayweatherPacquiao talks @HBOboxing has made its only official comment: (more) #boxing

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

'We are not an impediment to this fight. We stand ready to go. The principals need to agree to terms and come to a deal.' -- @HBOboxing


Pac-Man and Mayweather Talk Fight While Sitting Courtside at Miami Heat Game

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz talked about the boxers' meeting at the Miami Heat game on Tuesday night, according to Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News:

Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz told the Daily News on Wednesday morning that he initiated the meeting at the basketball game, where Mayweather reportedly gave Pacquiao his cell phone number.

"I went over to Floyd to break the ice and asked him if he wanted to come over and talk to Manny," Koncz told the News. "I've known Floyd for a while and met him many times before from previous negotiations for the fight. They had a private conversation and I commend Floyd for coming over and taking the initiative. It took a lot of courage. We had a couple minute discussion. And Floyd told us he wants to make the fight happen." 

ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reported that the pair met again after the game:

Hours after a public face-to-face meeting and brief discussion during halftime of Tuesday night's Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks game in Miami, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. met privately for more than an hour to continue discussing terms for their proposed May 2 megafight.

They met inside Pacquiao's hotel suite and "it was very pleasant and very encouraging, and we give Floyd credit for coming over," Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz, who was present at the meeting, told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "That's the first time they ever sat eye to eye. I've met Floyd many times but he and Manny had never had a chance to meet. They talked at halftime, but this was a longer, more serious meeting. You could tell by their body language that this was very positive. It was for a good hour or more.

"It was a business meeting but it wasn't a tense business meeting. I think that's because they both have mutual respect for each other. We'll determine what will happen over the next couple of days."

Lance Pugmire of the LA Times provided information from Koncz, who spoke about details from the discussion:

Koncz said as a result of that talk, he has received confirmation of an agreement between CBS/Showtime Chairman Leslie Moonves and HBO Chief Executive Richard Plepler that the fight will feature two broadcasters from each premium network.

[...]

Koncz said each network also will produce an hour-long show on its fighter, Showtime doing a Mayweather story and HBO airing a Pacquiao special. 


Showtime Sports Exec Spoke About Mayweather-Pacquiao Negotiations

Monday, Jan. 26

On Jan. 23 and Jan. 24, Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza responded to fan tweets, as well as public statements made by Bob Arum regarding the negotiations, or lack thereof, for a potential fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao:

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

Signing what? No contract has been drafted yet. "@foxynumerouno: Did Manny agree to Floyds terms? If yes, why isn't Floyd signing?" 😡😡

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

And you believed them? "@DonCassiano12: various reports in Australia say Floyd is meeting with Mundine next week in case pac falls through"

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

What the hell is everyone signing??? "@FightHubTV: Arum says Floyd's team agreed, networks agreed, but not Floyd yet: http://t.co/h3C95LYl3n

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

Yes, we're still trying to make the fight. "@andrew88fields: Don't play their game. Just please tell us are negotiations still ongoing?"

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

You can sign a contract in principle? Must have missed that day of law school. "@HoopJab: Manny has signed the contract in principle - Koncz

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

Talks are ongoing. Both sides are still trying to make the fight. "@MexicanStyleGGG: @StephenEspinoza @danrafaelespn So what's the deal?"

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

Nope. "@boxing: Arum tells ESPN that everything is set on their end, networks have worked out the biggest issues. Waiting Mayweather?"

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

No issue here. Ask @HBOboxing. "@larrymarket: it seems to me both @FloydMayweather & Pac want the fight. Only stumbling block is SHO & HBO"

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

Because he can't sign a contract that doesn't exist. THERE IS NO CONTRACT. "@pardo_andrew: @HBOboxing why won't Floyd sign contract now?"

ESNEWS on YouTube also captured video of Jim Lampley stating Mayweather vs. Cotto 2 would happen instead of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao:

Espinoza responded to Lampley's statement on Sunday:

Stephen Espinoza @StephenEspinoza

Remind me...how is he involved in negotiations? "@brianlilly24: lampley came out & said mayweather vs cotto 2 will happen may 2"


Pacquiao Awaits Mayweather Response

Friday, Jan. 23

Sky Sports reports Pacquiao expects this situation to be resolved in the near future:

“We’re waiting for an answer from them, and the signed contract from them, so probably by next week we’ll know if we can push the fight through or not,” Pacquiao said.

Asked if he thought undefeated Mayweather is scared of him, Pacquiao said: “I think so. I don’t want to think about that but it’s kind of like that.”

ESPN's Dan Rafael has word on what the decision hinges on:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

Talked to Arum today in Denver. Manny-Floyd says they're waiting on Floyd. Says he's done with his side & networks overcame biggest issues.


Pacquiao Explored Other Options in Case Mayweather Fell Through

Friday, Jan. 23

Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail reported Pacquiao was interested in fighting Amir Khan if Mayweather didn't come through:

As Pacquiao continued his state visit to London his advisor Michael Koncz told me: "Just in case Floyd doesn't come through we regard Amir as the best possible alternative. He and Manny would make for a very exciting fight and Manny would be more than happy to do it at Wembley stadium.

"We are looking at that possibility and also Abu Dhabi as another potential venue.

"But of course we are still working on Mayweather."

Khan said: "I’ve been looking at Wembley which would be a great stage for me and Manny and Abu Dhabi is very much in the running."


Mayweather and Pacquiao Spoke About Potential Fight

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Pacquiao spoke about the potential fight with Mayweather on Twitter:

Manny Pacquiao @MannyPacquiaoTR

I can easily beat @FloydMayweather, I believe that.

Manny Pacquiao @MannyPacquiaoTR

If you really care about the fans, you will fight. If you care about yourself... you won't fight. #MannySmile

Manny Pacquiao @MannyPacquiaoTR

Everyone had me as a big underdog to @OscarDeLaHoya too. If @FloydMayweather fights me boxing will get an even bigger upset victory.

During an interview with Shade 45 Radio, transcribed by Edward Chaykovsky of BoxingScene.com, Mayweather shared his thoughts on the chances of a superfight happening between him and Pacquiao:

Hopefully its Mayweather-Pacquiao [on May 2nd]. Of course we are trying to make the fight happen between me and Pacquiao. Are we negotiating? Absolutely we are negotiating. But Pacquiao said that he agreed to everything. What did you agree to? You have no say so. You have a boss. You don't have no say so. You have a boss.....that's called Top Rank Promotions. It's not called Pacquiao Promotions. With my company, it's called Mayweather Promotions. 

We have been going back and forth, communicating with their team. Hopefully we can make this fight happen. …

…We're going to make it happen though. We're trying, but it's been extremely difficult dealing with Top Rank. And I don't want to sit here and point the finger at Pacquiao and say 'it's him.' It's not Pacquiao, it's his promoter. A lot of times when Pacquiao says 'I agreed' - you don't have nothing to do with this, you're not a boss. On a chess board you're a pawn.


Cotto Could Have Been Mayweather Opponent if Pacquiao Fell Through

Monday, Jan. 19

ESPN's Dan Rafael provided a new twist in the talks surrounding a potential Maywather-Pacquiao bout:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

Extremely strong chatter than Mayweather-Cotto 2 is imminent.

Earlier on Monday, Pacquiao said he would give Mayweather until the end of the month to agree to the fight. Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times provided a synopsis of what Pac-Man had to say regarding his desire to face off with Money:

Lance Pugmire @latimespugmire

Just spoke to @MannyPacquiao at length about @FloydMayweather fight. He wants it done, willing to wait through end of month.

Lance Pugmire @latimespugmire

Until end of January more than enough time to resolve whatever is holding up a @FloydMayweather signing, @MannyPacquiao says.

Pugmire later shared more comments from Pacquiao:

My promoter and I, we’ve already agreed to the terms and conditions of whatever he wants. We’re just waiting on the signed contract from him. That’s the hard part – if they will fight or not. We have to know soon, because if they will not fight, we can move on and choose another opponent.

We have a deadline … this month.


Showtime, HBO Executives Discuss Potential Fight

Friday, Jan. 16

ESPN's Dan Rafael had the latest on Pacquiao-Mayweather:

HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and HBO Sports President Ken Hershman joined Showtime chairman and CEO Matt Blank and Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza on Wednesday at an undisclosed restaurant in New York to discuss the framework of a deal, a source with knowledge of the meeting told ESPN.com

There is a long way to go according to the source. 

"If this was a 100-meter dash, it's at about the 40-meter mark," the source said. 

Pacquiao also appeared on NBC's The Today Show Friday morning and addressed Mayweather:

TODAY @TODAYshow

"It's time for him to say yes." -@MannyPacquiao talks to @WillieGeist & @NMoralesNBC about fighting @FloydMayweather.

Watch the interview on YouTube here:


Mayweather Camp Assessing Fight Terms, Met with Bob Arum

Thursday, Jan. 15

Sam Watson, the long-time confidant of Mayweather adviser Al Haymon, claimed negotiations are on course for the May 2 encounter, according to Bryan Armen Graham of the Guardian. Watson said:

They’re putting it together now. They’re going to do a Showtime-HBO [joint pay-per-view] like they did last time with Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. They’re working on the monies now and everything they’ve got to work on to make it happen. 

I can’t wait. It’s going to be huge.

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported Pacuqiao met with promoter Bob Arum today:

Lance Pugmire @latimespugmire

Told that @MannyPacquiao met with Bob Arum today in LA, is up to speed with what's going on. Positive sounding...

Lance Pugmire @latimespugmire

They're waiting now for @FloydMayweather to become satisfied with TV deal between @SHOsports and @HBOboxing.


Arum Claimed Initial Agreement

Wednesday, Jan. 14

Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reported promoter Bob Arum, who works with Pacquiao, stated that an agreement on the basic terms of the contract was in place on January 14. He made the comments after working out details with Mayweather's representatives, who are still waiting for approval from the undefeated fighter:

I'm not trying to force anybody's hand, I'm just saying, 'Hey, we've agreed to everything, period.' The people we have talked to on Mayweather's side have agreed to everything. Now we need Mayweather to step up and say, 'Yeah, I'm on board. I agree.'

I'm not going to put a deadline on there. I'm just going to hope that everybody does the right thing and we get this concluded. It would be really sad if we went through this stuff again like we did before.

Nobody from the opposite side confirmed the apparent progress in talks at the time, however.

Dan Rafael of ESPN.com confirmed the stance from Pacquiao's camp with Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti.

"Top Rank and Manny have agreed to the terms on our side. I don't know about the other side," Moretti said.

The Rafael report also noted some further aspects of the alleged agreement beyond the 60-40 split:

According to the Pacquiao side, everything was agreed to, including the gloves and drug testing. As far as the gloves go, each fighter would be able to select their own brand of 8-ounce gloves. Mayweather typically wears Grant gloves and Pacquiao fights in Cleto Reyes.

What wasn't noted is how the viewing rights would be split between Showtime (Mayweather) and HBO (Pacquiao). It's always been one of the many hurdles standing in the way of a final deal.

Whether the latest talking points represent real progression toward the sport's biggest stars fighting in May is a mystery at this point. It may have simply been a ploy by the Pac-Man camp to create some leverage by getting public sentiment on their side.

It's been a long and winding road since the prospect of the two boxing superstars facing off became a mainstream conversation a handful of years ago. But just when it seemed like hope was starting to slip away, conversations started heating up.

The fight itself probably won't be as entertaining as it would have been a couple of years ago. It still represents the biggest bout boxing can create right now, though. It's one that will attract viewers from around the globe, even if they aren't necessarily boxing fans. It has a big-event feel.

Now, the question is whether the sides can finally sign on the dotted line and allow the hype machine to go into overdrive. A response from the Mayweather camp is probably on the way, and that will give fans a better idea of where the negotiations stand.

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