After a looooong bout of negotiations, he-says/he-says news bits here and there, and enough social network spittle to transform a boxing ring into a swimming people, the unthinkable has finally happened: Floyd Mayweather Jr. himself has come out and announced that yes, his fight with Manny Pacquiao is truly happening.
While there have been news reports that the fight has been made final during the past few weeks, given the fight's history, we told ourselves to not believe anything until the two fighters involved actually say it out loud that they've signed the contract and they're fighting.
Floyd made the announcement by showing the contract and announcing it on his Instagram-like social network, Shots:
You can see it here as well.
"I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done," said Mayweather in a prepared statement. The two fighters blew up the Internet about a month ago when they met at halftime of an NBA game in Miami. They continued to discuss their much-awaited face-off in the Filipino's hotel room after the game. "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," added the undefeated American
Our Pambansang Kamao first showed the contract on his Instagram page before Mayweather ultimately signed on:
Manny likewise released a statement: "I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years. They have waited long enough and they deserve it. It is an honor to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world."
As Floyd first speculated, the fight will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2, 2015. Reports have also revealed that the fighters' camps agreed to a 60-40 split of the pay-per-view revenue, with the American getting the lion share. But before you cry "LUGI!" for our champion, know that the megafight is expected to gross around $400 million (over P17-billion).
Mayweather-Pacquiao is also expected to break all boxing revenue records, especially De La Hoya-Mayweather's PPV buy (number of people who bought the PPV) record of 2.4 million and Mayweather-Canelo's PPV revenue (total earnings from the PPV) record of $150 million and gate (total earnings from fight tickets) record of $20,003,150.
Both fighters will wear their preferred gloves, while their welterweight belts (the WBO version for Manny, the WBC and WBA iterations for Floyd) will be on the line in this unification showdown.
The fight will be a joint broadcast by American cable networks HBO and Showtime, where Pacquiao and Mayweather are under contract respectively. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, The cost of each PPV buy is expected to be at a record-high price of $89.95 (about P4,000), while high-definition viewing will entail $10 more.
There's also no rematch clause in the contract, which means this might be the first and last time these two all-time greats will face each other.
In contrast to the almost celebratory tone the two fighters took to announce their match-up, Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's longtime trainer fired the first verbal salvo. "Floyd should enjoy being the A-Side while he can because on May 2 Manny is going to put him on his backside," said Roach, as reported by spin.ph.
The Hall of Fame trainer was referring to the "advantages" Mayweather negotiated for himself (the higher split and probably a higher purse, the right to choose who to walk to the ring first, and being announced last). Expect more potshots, and maybe even some name-calling in the next couple of weeks.
So there, fellow boxing fans, we think we deserve a moment of silence.
Now, here's our advice to both boxers: For the love of God, stop playing basketball and risk tweaking your ankle, damn it!
Image via Sportsonearth.com