Could a chance (or not chance) meeting in Miami finally lead to the mega fight the world has been waiting for between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao? All indications today seem to point that way.
Chris Mannix of SI.com tweeted, “@ChrisMannixSI: Hearing optimism from both sides that a Mayweather-Pacquiao deal could get done soon. From what I’m hearing, hard to see it falling apart.”
Mayweather was due to fly to Australia this week, but that trip was halted until next week for whatever reason. According to Lance Pugmire of the La Times, Pacquiao is in the United States until at least February 6th. Per Pugmire, “@latimespugmire: Sounds like @MannyPacquiao will be in US until at least Feb. 6. He’s planning to attend National Prayer Breakfast in DC next week.”
Even more hopeful news Arum told the New York Post that he expects a deal to be done within the next few days.
“Everybody is doing the right thing,” Arum told the Post on Friday. “We’re looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done.”
According to the report, the major issues are being hammered out, now all that’s left is the HBO and Showtime portion of the fight.
“The issues are being narrowed down to extraordinarily small points,” Arum said. “I’m optimistic it will all be put together in the next couple of days.”
Arum feels the chance meeting helped move the fight along.
“I think it helped a lot because we were all putting papers together, and there was still a question as to whether Floyd really wanted to do the fight or not,” Arum said. “Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and [Pacquiao adviser] Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight.”
In a report by the El Paso times, Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza says that yes there still are issues, but negotiations are moving along.
“There are issues between the fighters and promoters and the networks,” said Espinoza, an El Paso native. “But we have been making good progress, and hopefully, within a few days, maybe we’ll have something positive to report.”
Even Espinoza acknowledges that the chance meeting offered something new to the negotiations.
“Just when we thought we’d seen everything in the course of the negotiations, they run into each other and have a conversation,” Espinoza said. “It’s an interesting coincidence.”
We’ve been optimistic before but never this optimistic. Will we as boxing fans get what we want? We should know within the next few days. Stay tuned.