SAN DIEGO, February 20, 2015 – In a hastily called news conference late Friday afternoon, executives from HBO and Showtime confirmed what has been rumored on and off for years: the much anticipated super fight between American undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather (47-0-0, 26 KOs) and eight division champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (57-5-2, 38 KOs).
The fight will take place on Saturday, May 2, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout takes place at 147 pounds, with the WBC, WBA, and WBO titles at stake. Each fighter gets to wear his choice of gloves. The revenue split is 60 percent to Mayweather, 50 percent to Pacquiao.
The fight will air both on Showtime, Mayweather’s home network, and HBO, Pacquiao’s home network. Not yet finalized are the broadcast teams assigned, price tags for tickets or the pay per view fees, or specifics on the support programming or replays on either network. There is no rematch clause; it is a one fight deal.
“Each side in this negotiation bore some of the pain of making the deal. Everyone made compromises to get it done,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Showtime Sports.
Ken Hershman, President, HBO Sports, said “It’s what were in this sport for, it’s the biggest boxing event of all time, we’re confident of that.”
Espinoza was asked how pivotal the chance meeting was between Mayweather and Pacquiao at the Miami Heat game and the following one on one sit down in making this fight finally come together. “The direct line of communication between Floyd and Manny cleared up a lot of doubts at their end and renewed their commitment to getting this fight done,” Espinoza said.
Mayweather, who lives part-time in Miami, talked with Pacquiao courtside. Pacquiao had just finished judging the Miss Universe pageant in Florida but was delayed leaving due to weather, and decided to attend the game.
Espinoza said it took “a lot of blood sweat and tears along the way from a lot of people. I took this job approximately three years ago. The Mayweather/Pacquiao fight has been a topic of conversation, a goal not only of ours but of Floyd Mayweather’s since he came over a little over (to Showtime) three years ago. We believed this day would come, we worked hard to make it happen, and we’re thrilled that it’s here.”
Why did it take this long? And why now, finally? Hershman said, “It required a consensus among everybody, it required good faith. There was no hold up by one or the other. Everybody was truly motivated to cooperate and make concessions they found uncomfortable to come to that place. That’s the sign of a fair deal, everyone compromised and everyone compromised at the right time. Floyd and Manny pushed their respective teams and networks to get this done. “
“We look forward to May 2nd, it’s going to be a spectacular night for this sport and for HBO and Showtime as well. There is a lot of hard work ahead of us. Recognize this obviously just came together, there’s a lot more work and a lot more detail to come.”
Never mind that this fight should have been made when both Mayweather and Pacquiao were in their prime several years ago. It’s made now, everything else is water under the bridge. This is sure to be the biggest boxing event in the sport’s history from a viewing and monetary perspective and a worldwide sports and entertainment spectacle, smashing nearly every record on the books.
The very early betting line in Las Vegas has Mayweather as a slight favorite; sports books say they expect million dollar betting on this bout. Who would you put a bet on? Tell us in our poll!
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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