The possibility of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight has been been hanging over the boxing world like an idle zeppelin for over half a decade, but over the first few weeks of 2015 it seems to have been edging ever closer to realization, and an article on rappler.com by Ryan Songalia appears to be the latest indicator of this.
Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) made an appearance on “The Today Show” on January 16th to promote a documentary detailing his career, and inevitably ended up talking about the latest incarnation of negotiations between his representatives and those of Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KOs).
The proposed date is May 2nd and the venue is the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, both hallmarks of a Mayweather event. This would seem to indicate that Pacquiao is the one making concessions in order to bring talks to their conclusion, and he didn’t mind highlighting this to everyone watching.
“My promoter and I, we agreed to all that [Mayweather] wants. We’re just waiting for the signed contracts to make it happen. I think it’s time for him to say yes because of the calling of the fans. Not me; the fans want it all over the world.”
It’s very nice of Pacquiao to point the finger at Mayweather like that, especially when he had access to a forum such as “The Today Show” which is sure to reach a massive audience. The reality of the situation is that both men have been aware of the public clamoring over this fight for years and neither has made adequate strides to make it happen until now. Most likely there is blame on all sides.
Personal terms aside, one of the major obstacles to overcome in making a match like this is that Pacquiao and Mayweather are contracted to HBO and Showtime respectively, two television networks that are direct competitors in every aspect of their business. However, if the two companies should temporarily align for the sake of the common good it would not be a move without precedent, as Songalia points out they did it for Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson thirteen years ago.
Showtime sports executives vice president Stephen Espinoza was available for comment and ready to spout the vague rhetoric that generally accompanies a significant event like this.
“What I can say is that we are in discussions and we are making progress. We’ve got a long way to go and significant issues to overcome. But we’re making meaningful progress, and we’ll continue to work at it.”
Nobody can say with any degree of certainty what exactly is causing proceedings to stutter at this point though there are undoubtedly fans of each man casting blame over to the opposite side. We should all just be happy that talks between the two camps are ongoing and not frozen in some hellish limbo where both fighters occupy their time with less meaningful opposition. By all indications it is nearly here.