After years of frustration and disappointment, following many starts and stops, perhaps the most talked about boxing match in history is finally a reality.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced Friday that he’s agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight bout May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. It’s a bout the public has been calling for since late 2009 and pits the two finest boxers of their generation in a historic event.
“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” said Mayweather. “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 fight 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.”
The bout is expected to set numerous records, including purse size, live paid gate and pay-per-view sales. The cost of the pay-per-view has yet to be determined and won’t be until there are deals with the distributors.
Formal details on the agreement have yet to be announced, but it’s expected that Mayweather will have a 60-40 split advantage on revenues, with Mayweather making at least $120 million and Pacquiao, who signed the contract for the bout Thursday, earning $80 million.
“Floyd should enjoy being the A-side while he can,” Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, said. “Because on May 2, Manny is going to put him on his backside.”
The two nearly came to terms around the Christmas holidays in 2009, a month after Pacquiao stopped Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand. It fell apart, though, when Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum balked at Mayweather’s demand for drug testing run by the United States Anti-Doping Agency during training camp.