LAS VEGAS — The Fight is finally on.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in a welterweight showdown that will be boxing’s richest fight ever. Mayweather himself announced the bout Friday after months of negotiations, posting a picture of the signed contract online.
The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record ever, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao’s split of the purse will likely be around $80 million.
The fight, which matches boxing’s two biggest attractions in recent years, has been in the making for five years. It finally came together in recent months with both fighters putting aside past differences over various issues — including drug testing and television rights — to reach agreement.
“I promised the fans we would get this done and we did,” Mayweather said.
While the fight rivals the 2002 heavyweight title bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson for interest, it comes more than five years after the first real effort to put the fighters together in their prime. Most boxing observers believe both have lost some of their skills, though Mayweather remains a master defensive fighter and Pacquiao showed in his last fight against Chris Algieri that he still has tremendous quickness in his hands.
Still, Pacquiao is 36 and has been through many wars in the ring. And while Mayweather has been largely untouched in his career, he turns 38 on Tuesday.
Pacquiao was sleeping in the Philippines when the fight was announced, but his camp issued a statement saying the fans deserve the long awaited fight.
“It is an honor to be part of this historic event,” Pacquiao said. “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.”
As part of the agreement, Mayweather insisted on having the right to announce the bout. He also won concessions from the Pacquiao camp on who enters the ring first, what type of gloves are used, and a number of other issues, including a reported 60-40 split of the purse… see more