It’s the fight the world has wanted to see for nigh on six years – a showdown between welterweight champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao – and while it’s not a done deal yet there has been a major breakthrough over the last 24 hours.
Pacquiao and his promoter Top Rank have agreed to terms for a bout on May 2, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti.
"Top Rank and Manny have agreed to the terms on our side. I don't know about the other side," Moretti said.
Mayweather camp silent
Mayweather’s camp is yet to comment on the deal and experts at ESPN [see video] are not expecting the American to agree to the fight – regardless of what the public desperately wants.
The 37-year-old has two fights left on a six-fight contract with CBS and subsidiary network Showtime; a deal which allows him to pick his own opponents and will earn him a total of £65 million in total– not a bad return only going to work twice!
According to ESPN sources close to the negotiation process, Pacquiao has agreed to just a 40% cut of the revenue which would leave Mayweather with the majority share of 60%.
With a fight between the two champions expected to shatter every boxing box office record – including the all-time pay-per-view buy record of 2.4 million (Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya), the pay-per-view revenue record of $150 million (Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez) and the all-time gate record of $20 million (Mayweather-Alvarez – Mayweather stands to make significantly more than his other commitments should he chose to accept.
And, perhaps most importantly, Pacquiao has finally agreed to submit himself to a drugs test; a big step forward considering that was the spanner in the works when this fight was first negotiated in late 2009 and early 2010.
Date in the diary
"I think that Manny agreed to USADA testing shows you his eagerness to make this fight," Moretti said.
If Mayweather agrees to the terms the fight would take place on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas according to Moretti.
Mayweather has held his past 10 fights there while Pacquiao has had five of his last seven match-ups there.