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Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao: Latest Fight Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2015

Getty/AP Images

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather announced on Feb. 20.

Continue for updates. 


Mayweather Uploads Training Video

Wednesday, March 4

Mayweather provided a small glimpse of the hand speed coming Pacquiao's way, posting the following footage to his Instagram:



Mayweather-Pacquiao Press Conference Set for March 11

Monday, March 2

ESPN's Dan Rafael reported that Mayweather and Pacquiao will hold a press conference on March 11 in Los Angeles. The site is still to be determined and it will not be open to the public.

As The Associated Press added, "They won't meet again until the final press conference at the MGM Grand in the days before the May 2 mega fight."


Mayweather and Pacquiao Post Photos From Training

Monday, Mar. 2

Mayweather went to work for the first time at his Las Vegas Gym on March 2, posting images to social media site shots.com.

As preparations for the much-anticipated fight step up a gear, Pacquiao also released a photo to his Instagram account of his training for the showdown:

Manny Pacquiao @MannyPacquiaoTR

.@FloydMayweather, don't be a boxing humbug. Let's give the fans the fight they want. They have waited long enough.


Bob Arum Believes Pacquiao and Mayweather Could Split $300 Million

Saturday, Feb. 28

Miguel Rivera of BoxingScene.com reported that Bob Arum wouldn't be surprised to see 4-5 million pay-per-view purchases. He also believes between PPV sales and other revenue sources, the two fighters could wind up splitting $300 million. ESPN's Dan Rafael previously reported the fight will be a 60-40 split.

Rafael also recently offered his take on possible PPV rights, ticket prices and a potential way to watch the fight: 


Mayweather Taunts Pacquiao

Friday, Feb. 27

Ben Thompson of FightHype.com reported Mayweather's belief that Pacquiao is no longer the fighter he once was:

"To me, it's just another day. It's just another fight. I mean, when you just look at the tale of the tape, I have a longer reach, I'm taller, I'm stronger, and I'm more accurate. I think I seen a major change in Pacquiao," Mayweather stated in a recent interview with FightHype.com. "He may not be the same fighter, but this is a guy that I cannot overlook. He got here somehow and some way. You never take nothing for granted because anything can happen."

ESPN's Dan Rafael also reported that Pacquiao has changed his training plans ahead of the fight:

Pacquiao, who was not expected to come to the United States until March 8 to begin the serious part of his training camp at trainer Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California, is planning to arrive a week ahead of time.

"Manny called me and said it's been so crazy in the Philippines that he is going to come over here early and probably start at Wild Card on March 2," Roach told ESPN.com on Thursday. "Having him early is really nice for me. We'll have Justin Fortune doing strength work with him, and then we'll begin the boxing part and start sparring."


Jim Lampley, Roy Jones Jr. and Max Kellerman Talk Superfight

Thursday, Feb. 26

Jim Lampley, Roy Jones Jr. and Max Kellerman weighed in on the megafight between Mayweather and Pacquiao, via HBOBoxing on YouTube:


Mayweather Camp Reportedly 'Irritated' With Pacquiao Staying in Philippines

Thursday, Feb. 26

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported that there is "Some irritation coming from Mayweather's camp that Pacquiao is still in the Philippines. May kill the chances of any significant press tour."


Pacquiao Comments on Being Underdog 
Saturday, Feb. 21

Pacquiao is embracing his role as underdog against Mayweather, per Chris Williams of boxingnews24.com (h/t ABS-CBN): 

This is just like any other fight I had before. I’ve been in this kind of situation many times in my previous fights. It doesn’t scare me. I love being the underdog. It even motivates me to train hard and go for the crown.


Pacquiao Speaks in First Interview Since Fight Announcement

Saturday, Feb. 21

Pacquiao provided a video of his first interview since the fight became official:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

It's unofficial but I am being told that #MayweatherPacquiao likely will not be available in movie theaters. #boxing


Bob Arum, Freddie Roach Speak About Fight

Saturday, Feb. 21 

Boxing Insider provided comments from Arum and Roach, who spoke about the upcoming Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

For those asking, UK TV rights to #MayweatherPacquiao have not been determined but I'm told probably on Sky Box Office (PPV). #boxing

 

 

 

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

Face value tix for #MayweatherPacquiao are likely going to be $5k, 3k or 3,500, 2k & 1k. Likely will be very small amount for public sale.


Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight Officially Announced

Friday, Feb. 20

After years of speculation and uncertainty, the bout that essentially every boxing fan wants to see is finally coming to fruition. 

Mayweather used his Shots account to make the announcement on Friday, Feb. 20:

Bleacher Report provided the tale of the tape via Instagram:

Manny Pacquiao @MannyPacquiaoTR

.@MannyPacquiao's first Interview after the fight announcement was made. Courtesy ABS-CBN. http://t.co/EkHeTVMIMr #MayweatherPacquiao

Bryan Armen Graham of the Guardian had statements from executives at HBO and Showtime concerning this massive joint Pay-Per-View:

Boxing Insider.com @BoxingInsider

Bob Arum: “To me this fight between Manny and Floyd will be like a Super Bowl. It’s not just a fight. It’s a huge event" #PacquiaoMayweather

Pacquiao also released a statement via Martin Rogers and Bob Velin of USA Today:

"This is the right fight for boxing," Pacquiao said in a statement. "Floyd Mayweather and I is the fight boxing fans have wanted for years and I am looking forward to it. I will be representing my fans and my country and trying to bring glory to the Philippines."

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times added more from Pacquiao's side on the fight:

Boxing Insider.com @BoxingInsider

Freddie Roach: “Floyd should enjoy being the A-side while he can on May 2, Manny is going to put him on his backside” #MayweatherPacquiao

Shots

Pacquiao also took to Instagram to show off the contract and add another quote:

Bryan Armen Graham @BryanAGraham

Statements from Showtime and HBO execs on #MayweatherPacquiao joint pay-per-view. http://t.co/rAMmbc0xwa

Dan Rafael of ESPN added that there's no rematch clause, each fighter will wear their usual gloves for a 60-40 split. 

Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports provided more comments from Mayweather, who weighed in on the timing of the fight:

I knew eventually it would happen, but everything takes time," said Mayweather, who first entered into talks to fight Pacquiao in late 2009 for what was supposed to be an early 2010 bout. "Everything in life is about timing. I have a good team and I waited until the time was right. He waited until the time was right, and the two teams came together and we made the fight happen.

[...]

I think the timing is right now because I'm a lot bigger status-wise than I was," he said. "Status-wise, I'm still growing, but I'm bigger than I was. And I'm pretty sure that Manny Pacquiao, he is bigger, too. I have a lot of fans and he has a lot of fans and the fans around the world have been anticipating the fight for a long time.

Everybody was talking about it and it didn't happen, and then it started up again and it didn't happen again. They say three strikes and you're out, and I guess the third time is a charm.

 

Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review Journal provided information on the drug testing that the fighters agreed to:

(Arum) also confirmed that the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which Mayweather usually does business with, will handle all the prefight drug testing in conjunction with the Nevada Athletic Commission, which will handle the prefight and postfight drug tests. Olympic-style random blood testing will be implemented for both fighters.

Martin Rogers of USA Today reported that the MGM Grand sold out in roughly 15 minutes following the announcement of the fight. Much of that excitement is because Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are perhaps the greatest and most accomplished boxers of their generation. In fact, the only thing that neither fighter has done to this point is meet each other in the ring. 

Much to the excitement and relief of boxing fans everywhere, that is about to change.

There is no question that the sport of boxing has taken a backseat to other genres such as mixed martial arts in recent years. Boxing desperately needs a catalyst to turn the tide back in its favor, and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao could be precisely that.

Talk regarding the dream bout has heated up in recent months, and excitement reached a fever pitch on Jan. 13 when Top Rank founder Bob Arum told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that the two sides had agreed to everything needed to make the fight a reality.

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 think Manny has been very reasonable and demonstrated that he wants the fight to happen. Now, we're waiting on Floyd. That's not to say that Floyd has been obstinate, that Floyd won't do it, but we're waiting on him.

The Mayweather and Pacquiao camps ultimately reached an understanding, which means boxing fans will get the event they have longed for.

Forbes' Jesse Lawrence estimates tickets for the fight could average as much as $3,000:

With the pent up demand for this fight, the average price could exceed $3,000 on the secondary market. Both of Mayweather’s fights against Maidana and Pacquiao’s most recent fight against Timothy Bradley all drew a secondary market average price above $1,000 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Those prices appear to be the absolute floor of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight even if it won’t occur at the peak of either fighter’s career.

The undefeated "Money" Mayweather is approaching the end of his boxing career at 37 years of age. Per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, he made it clear that he wanted to retire when his Showtime contract expires in September 2015.

"I only got two more fights left and after the next two fights I just want to build the Mayweather Promotions brand," Mayweather said. "...My next fight is in May (2015) and my last fight is in September (2015), so a year from now will be my last fight."

In the wake of that announcement, many figured that the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao dream was over. That wasn't helped by the notion that Mayweather had been ducking Pac-Man for many years. 

While Mayweather has never been one to keep his thoughts to himself, much of the chatter regarding a potential Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight came from Pac-Man's camp. That included Pacquiao himself, who continued to push for a Mayweather fight leading up to his Nov. 22 meeting with Chris Algieri, according to Rafael.

"I do have one specific goal and that is to give the boxing fans the fight they have always asked for," Pacquiao said. "I want that fight (with Mayweather) too."

Even Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, made his presence felt in the media and doubted Mayweather's intentions of ever going face to face with Pac-Man, per Jeff Powell of Daily Mail:

It looked close two years ago but I don't think Floyd will take the chance now. Floyd's main concern has become keeping that 0 (for zero losses) on his record. I don't see him taking any real risk of losing that before the end of next year, when he says he's retiring. It's not that he's afraid of Manny. No fighters are scared of anybody in the world. It's just that he believes if he goes out undefeated he will be seen as better than greats like "Sugar" Ray Robinson, who had losses on their records.

While most of the talk regarding the superfight was negative, Arum breathed some new life into the proceedings in November when he revealed that there seemed to be some movement on that front, according to GMANetwork.com.

"The networks are now already talking," he said. "I am now more optimistic that the fight is going to happen than I was three or four years ago. I am talking to responsible people who are in touch with the Mayweather guys. All of these people have the ability to move it ahead and make it happen."

As encouraging as that was, Mayweather took the next step in December when he made it clear in an interview on Showtime that he wanted to make a fight with Pacquiao a reality, per Rafael.

"We are ready. Let's make it happen. May 2. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Let's do it," Mayweather said.

Money also accused Pac-Man and his camp of running from the fight and claimed that Pacquiao was desperate after a pair of defeats, according to Rafael.

So let's make this fight happen. Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum, you guys have been ducking us for years. We're tired of you guys fooling the public, fooling the critics. You guys didn't want to take random blood and urine testing, so that's why it didn't happen. Then I offered you $40 million, then you didn't want to make the fight happen. You lost twice, now you coming back begging for the same money. That's not gonna happen. Let's make the fight happen for the people and the fans. Mayweather versus Pacquiao, May 2, Cinco de Mayweather.

That certainly wasn't the first time that Mayweather and Pacquiao sparred verbally across media lines, but the end result was much different in this instance.

With both sides seemingly wanting to make the fight happen, Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported on Jan. 9 that Mayweather and Pacquiao had agreed to terms on both a venue and drug testing. That proved to be an important step in the right direction.

When push came to shove, Mayweather, Pacquiao and everyone else involved were smart enough to realize that making the fight happen was beneficial to them, boxing fans and the sport as a whole.

While it's possible that their fight won't be as great as it could have been several years ago, none of that matters now. The long wait and anticipation has made their upcoming bout even bigger.

Each fighter needed this to put a bow on his career, and fans needed this to fall in love with boxing all over again.

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