Floyd Mayweather Tells Manny Pacquiao 'We Have to Make This Fight Happen'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2015

FILE - In this combination of file photos, U.S. boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, prepares to spar at a gym in east London on May 22, 2009, and Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, weighs in for the junior welterweight boxing match against British boxer Ricky Hatton, May 1, 2009, in Las Vegas. The March 13 , 2010 megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been thrown into jeopardy. Mayweather's camp is demanding the fighters submit to Olympic-type drug testing in the weeks leading up to the bout. Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's manager, says the fight will not go on if Pacquiao doesn't agree to blood testing under standards followed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. (AP Photos/Alastair Grant and Rick Bowmer, File)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

For more than a half-decade now, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have played a cat-and-mouse game about their supposed megafight, each talking a big game and seemingly scurrying whenever real progress is made toward a deal. It appears, finally, as though the two stars are preparing to get into the ring.   

In a video posted on Mayweather's Instagram Saturday evening, the pound-for-pound king can be heard telling Pacquiao, "We have to make this fight happen":

The Pacquiao and Mayweather camps have been deep in negotiations about a May fight for more than a month. While there have been numerous reports of progress between the two sides—small details, like the venue, have been resolved—there remain quite a few snags in need of fixing before an announcement can be made.

Showtime and HBO, the former holding Mayweather's contractual rights and the latter Pacquiao's, must agree on how to split revenue while co-hosting the bout. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told Tim Dahlberg of The Associated Press those issues were resolved, but those claims have since been denied.

"There are a few significant issues remaining on both the fighter side and the network side of this deal," Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza said, per ESPN.com. "While we are optimistic, it's a bit premature to say that the networks are in total agreement."

With May 2 set as a target date, the two sides are quickly running out of time. The networks will need months to get promotional packages together given the expected record cost of the event, and Mayweather and Pacquiao will have to begin their training regimen. Coupled with the countless press-related events that would come with such a deal, negotiations are reaching the very edge of feasibility.

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 27:  Boxers, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr talk before the game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat on January 27, 2015 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

It's possible the May 2 date could be pushed back, but that seems unlikely. Mayweather has essentially turned the first Saturday in May into his own holiday; his promotional arm will likely not want to move off that date. 

"The thing that really concerns me is that we are running out of time for May 2," Arum told ESPN.com's Dan Rafael. "If you want to drag this out a little longer then move the fight to later in May—May 30 is a good date—or go in June. We agreed to go on May 2 because that is the date Mayweather is hung up on, but if we're going to go on May 2 we need to get this done."

If they're unable to resolve these issues, it'll be the latest in a series of stalled negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao. Negotiations first began in 2009 and have been teased on multiple occasions since. Once billed as the fight of the century, both Mayweather and Pacquiao are a little beyond their primes—still great, but nowhere near the level they were five years ago.

Beto Durán @DuranSports

Tweet from 2009? "@ESPNLosAngeles: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao camps hit wall in negotiations for megafight http://t.co/YeFSJSpVwL"

But if they can finally get it together, it'll be better late than never.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter


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