For about six years, boxing fans have wanted to see a summit meeting between welterweight champions Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., but it has yet to happen. However, Pacquiao and his promoter Top Rank have apparently agreed to terms that Mayweather set out for a May 2nd fight. All that is left is to hear the response from Mayweather's camp, and then many boxing fans' dreams will come true.
Dan Rafael, the ESPN Senior Boxing Writer, compared the possibility of the Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight as "Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown". That is, it is something that boxing fans have always wanted to see happen, but never actually happened.
There was a time in late 2009 and early 2010 where it looked like a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. would happen. The reason why it fell apart was because Mayweather wanted Pacquiao to submit to random Olympic-style drug testing, but Pacquiao did not agree to those terms. However, this could be a non-factor as ESPN reports that Pacquiao has subjected himself as well as his opponents to random testing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association for his recent bouts, and has even agreed to use the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which has tested Mayweather for many years.
Two days ago, the Guardian reported that longtime confidant of Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and one of the few in the fighter's tight-knit inner circle said that the final details are being worked out and an announcement for a fight is imminent. This would be the first time that Mayweather's team has addressed the fight beyond just the abstracts. From what we know of the negotiations, there has been a 60-40 split. Pacquiao agreed to the 40 percent of the revenue, while Mayweather will receive the lion's share of 60 percent.
One of the issues of a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the networks. Pacquiao is contractually obligated to fight for HBO, while Mayweather is for Showtime. This type of agreement between the two networks has been very difficult to pierce, and the last time the two networks combined was when Lennox Lewis (contracted by HBO) beat Mike Tyson (contracted by Showtime) in 2002.
ESPN reports that Top Rank chairman Bob Arum has been negotiating this fight for a few months now through Leslie Moonves, president of CBS, who owns subsidiary network Showtime. CBS signed Mayweather has two fights left on a six-fight contract with CBS, and Arum has been trying to work out Mayweather's end of the deal with his adviser Al Haymon.
If the fight does happen, it will occur at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, on the agreed date of May 2nd. Manny Pacquiao has had 5 out of 7 bouts at that location, while Mayweather has had his past 10 fights there. According to MLive, there are a lot of elements that still need to be worked out, such as key foreign television rights, as well as how some built-in conflicts between companies sponsoring both fighters.