With news this week that Manny Pacquiao has agreed to Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s proposed terms the likelihood of the two greats of their generation finally going toe to toe in the ring looks greater than ever.
However, even with a date (May 2nd), venue (the MGM Grand Garden), and purse split (60-40 in Mayweather's favor) agreed upon between the two sides there appears to be one issue remaining that needs to be ironed out before boxing fans can start dreaming of the opening bell.
Not quite there
As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the predicament of who will broadcast the hugely-anticipated fight is yet to be solved.
The two networks involved in negotiations - Showtime, who hold a deal with Floyd Mayweather, and HBO, Manny Pacquiao's usual partners - are currently working on a solution to the issue that suits both parties but as yet the lucrative PPV rights are still up in the air.
"The two networks have a congenial relationship, but each network has its own financial objectives." explained Showtime Sports' executive vice president Stephen Espinoza when discussing the situation as it stands.
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While all TV rights are an integral part of any high profile boxing match, those involved remain confident that things are progressing in the right direction.
Espinoza discussed Mayweather's positivity regarding a fight that has been mooted for several years only to be taken of the table:
"“Floyd is more motivated than ever to get this fight done,” Espinoza said. “We at CBS/Showtime are equally motivated. I think Bob was trying to put some pressure on Floyd, but the truth is you don’t need to put pressure on Floyd."
As for Pacquiao's corner, his promoter Bob Arum - a man who in the past has been blamed for stalling the fight due to his fractious relationship with Mayweather - explained his client is "comfortable" with how things are progressing.
Although he did insist there is a Plan B should things go wrong regarding the current deal:
"“I explained everything to Manny, and he’s comfortable with everything, including Plan B if this doesn’t work out.”
With the May 2nd date slated there is increasing pressure to have the conditions confirmed as soon as possible. How long it takes for Showtime and HBO remains to be seen but it finally seems like both Mayweather and Pacquiao are ready to get in the ring and surely they won't allow network negotiations to stand in their way.
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