American, Floyd ‘money’ Mayweather Jr, has announced that the eagerly anticipated boxing fight between him and Filipino, Manny ‘pac-man’ Pacquiao, is on in Las Vegas on 2 May.
Fans had waited tirelessly for confirmation of the welterweight showdown between two of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters since initial negotiations collapsed in 2010 over Mayweather’s demand for random drug testing.
Speculations became rife on Thursday afternoon that the deal was done, with Floyd thrashing out the right to make the announcement, and it waited not longer than 30 hours to become official.
Floyd, 37, announced via a smartphone photo app he jointly funded, ‘Shots’: “What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs. Pacquaio on May 2, 2015, is a done deal.
“I promise the fans, we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it.”
The message was accompanied by a picture of the document signed by both fighters, who are at the prime of their respective careers.
Showtime and HBO will jointly broadcast the bout, the biggest drawcards of the duo’s generation of boxers and the most talked about since the classic ‘Thrilla in Manila’ between Mohammad Ali and Joe Fraizer 39 years ago.
Mayweather was at Pacquaio’s hotel in Miami last month to discuss the possibility of the match having exchanged contacts at a basketball game earlier.
“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” Mayweather, 47-0, 26KOS, said in a statement released after the announcement. “Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus.
“This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2.
“I am the best ever, TBE, and this will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win. Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won’t be successful. He will be number 48.”
Pacquaio, 57-5-2, 38KOs said in a statement: “I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years. They have waited long enough and they deserve it.
“It is an honour to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”
The most lucrative card in Boxing
Mayweather is expected to have 60-40 split advantage on revenues generated from the match, with projected minimum earnings of $120m and Pacquaio $80m.
The fight is expected to generate almost two-time the estimated revenue from the most lucrative fight in history between Mayweather and Saul Alvarez ($149m) in 2013.
“Everyone involved, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio, knows this fight simply had to happen,” Stephen Espinoza- general manager for Showtime Sports, said in a statement.
“All of us are thrilled to be able to deliver this event to boxing fans around the world.”
The fight is also expected to take down the current record for pay-per-view buys in the United States. The 2.4 million households, who tuned in to watch Mayweather and countryman Oscar de la Hoya in their 2007 bout ($55 PPV in the US), is currently ranked most for a boxing match.
Eight-division world champion, Pacquaio, 36, suffered successive defeats by American Timothy Bradley (KO) and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez (UD) in 2012, prompting pundits to suggest the beginning of a decline and possibly retirement for the aggressive Southpaw.
He is hoping to defeat a fourth American in quick succession after rebounding with victories against Brandon Rios (2012), Timothy Bradley (2014) and Chris Algieri (2014), all by Unanimous Decisions.
His next opponent, a five-division world champion and a defensive fighter, Mayweather, has often questioned Pacquaio’s title wins in an unprecedented eight weight divisions and, even hints at illegal scoring methods.
However, Pacquaio will be defending his WBO Welterweight title, as well as taking a shot at Mayweather’s WBA, (Super) WBC titles and the Ring Welterweight title at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, come May.