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Evangelical Christian Boxer Manny Pacquiao Meets Floyd Mayweather in Private After Miami Heat Game for Fight Negotiation

( [email protected] ) Jan 28, 2015 04:42 PM EST
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather met privately at Pac-man's hotel suite after their "coincidental" and unexpected meeting at the NBA Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks basketball game last night. With "mutual respect" for each other, the two met after the game for more than an hour, discussing in details on their proposed May 2 mega-fight, sources told ESPN.
Twitter/Miami Heat

Filipino Evangelical-Christian boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather met privately at Pac-man's hotel suite after their "coincidental" and unexpected meeting at the NBA Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks basketball game last night. With "mutual respect" for each other, the two met after the game for more than an hour, discussing in details on their proposed May 2 mega-fight, sources told ESPN.

"It was very pleasant and very encouraging, and we give Floyd credit for coming over," Pacquiao advisor Michael Knocz, who was present at the meeting in Miami, 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."


Koncz said that Mayweather voiced two specific broadcasting issues to Pacquiao during the hotel meeting.

"I told Floyd I would call [Pacquiao promoter] Bob [Arum of Top Rank] in the morning, and I did that and discussed them with Bob, and he assured us they have been worked out. I took care of it," he said. "I said to Floyd, and Manny agreed, that if those are the only two broadcasting issues, we would take care of them."

Koncz did not go into detail about the specifics of the issues because "I don't want to step on HBO's or Showtime's toes," according to ESPN.com. 

Time Warner/HBO, which has Pacquiao under contract, and CBS/Showtime, which has Mayweather under contract, are negotiating the terms of the proposed fight's joint pay-per-view telecast, which is expected to rack in the highest revenue for any fight in boxing history. 

Koncz said Pacquiao ((57-5-2, 38 KOs) and Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) also discussed other issues but that the broadcasting items were "the majority of the discussion. Floyd said, 'I want the fight to happen,' and Manny said he does, too. If the fighters both want the fight to happen, who can stop it? They both said they want it to happen, and we're still looking to make it happen on May 2.

"I think people are just tired of all of this. Me and Manny, and maybe Floyd, we're tired of the fans and everybody, everywhere we go continually asking us when the fight will happen. Boxing needs this fight to happen, and it needs to happen in May."

During the game, the two sat across the court with Mayweather next to the Heat bench and Pacquiao directly across him on the opposite sideline. During the halftime, they exchanged phone numbers, shook hands, and caused a viral media frenzy on social media. 

Manny Pacquiao
Boxer Manny Pacquiao watches the game between the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Koncz said that it was a coincidence that Pacquiao and Mayweather were both at the Heat game, according to ESPN.com. Mayweather regularly attends the Heat games. Pacquiao was in Miami to serve as a judge at the Miss Universe 2015 pageant this past Sunday night. 

Koncz said they had planned to travel to New York after the pageant, but with a blizzard hitting the Northeast, they decided to stay in Miami for a few extra days.

The unexpected meeting happened just in time before the end of month deadline that Pacquiao had set for the proposed May 2 fight. Sources involved in the negotiations disclosed that the two parties have exchanged a deal memo outlining the major aspect of an agreement. If they can be agreed to, they will be put into a long-form contract.

Pacquiao, 36, and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum repeatedly have said they have agreed to all of the terms outlined by Mayweather, 37, including drug testing protocoal, which was source of contentions that broke down the initial negotiations in late 2009, in this round of talks, sources revealed to ESPN.com. If the two meet in May, the fight is expected to bring in the highest gross revenue in boxing history. 

In addition to the fight speculation, Pacquiao has been promoting a newly released documentary film about his life entitled "Manny." He claimed that his identity was more than just being an actor, a player-coach in a professional basketball league and an elected-representative in the Philippines, and the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

Growing up in poverty, Pacquiao once revelled in womanizing and gambling after gaining success in boxing until his claim that God spoke to him personally only a few years ago. He expressed that he had no regrets leaving his former life, and never claimed that God was on his side, as other boxers have previously done. 

"I'm happy because I found the right way, salvation, born again. We are required to be born again, all of us," he said, explaining the tenets of his Christian faith in an interview with The Guardian. "Christ said unless we are born again we cannot enter the kingdom of God. So it's very important to me. Jesus Christ said: 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' There is no other way. The only way is through Jesus."

Pacquiao also thought God had a purpose for his life both in the boxing and political worlds.

"The Lord has blessed me [with] everything I have ... [my] political career and serving the Lord and being a boxer - and I believe God has a purpose," he said. "It is behind my expectation and imagination. I think it's time to proclaim his name, not mine."