What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao agree to May 2 fight.
|(Photo: Photo illustration: USA TODAY Sports/Getty Images)|
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will finally face one another in the ring on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will finally give boxing the mega-fight fans and observers have craved for years after it was announced on Friday that the pair will face off for unified welterweight championship on May 2 at Las Vegas's MGM Grand Garden Arena.
|Floyd Mayweather posted a picture showing the signed contract on Friday night. Photograph: Floyd Mayweather|
"This is the right fight for boxing," Pacquiao said in a statement. "Floyd Mayweather and I is the fight boxing fans have wanted for years and I am looking forward to it. I will be representing my fans and my country and trying to bring glory to the Philippines."
There were countless stumbling blocks in the way of the fight, which was first discussed as far back as 2009 and fell apart on several occasions over issues such as drug testing, the fractious relationship between the two promotional camps and simple stubbornness.
The failure to bring together the two most marketable mainstream stars of recent times was increasingly becoming a black mark on the sport, and there had been so many false dawns that most boxing fans had become resigned to the bout never taking place.
However, negotiations steadily picked up pace since end of last year and overcame a major hurdle when rival cable companies Showtime (which has an exclusive deal with Mayweather) and HBO (which broadcasts Pacquiao fights) agreed to a split arrangement whereby both could sell the contest on pay per view.
"Everyone involved, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, knows this fight simply had to happen. All of us are thrilled to be able to deliver this event to boxing fans around the world. Now, for the second time under his current deal with Showtime Networks, Floyd Mayweather has agreed to fight an opponent that many people thought he'd never face.
Ken Hershman, the President, HBO Sports said: "Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have been the two most prominent fighters in the sport of boxing for the past decade, and fight fans around the world have been clamoring for them to face each other... May 2nd will be a signature moment for the sport of boxing and HBO Sports is thrilled to be a part of this spectacular event."
Mayweather will go into the fight as favorite, yet it can safely be considered by far his toughest test in recent times. He turns 38 next week, while Pacquiao is 36, and while neither man is at his peak, it is without question the most compelling match-up boxing has to offer.
People all around the world are looking forward to another record-breaking performance this coming May. This grand fight will make history on May 2nd.