NEW YORK (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum reportedly is optimistic a mega-fight deal between the Filipino icon and unbeaten US fighter Floyd Mayweather will be made in the next couple of days.
The New York Post reported Friday that Arum is down to negotiating the final details of a contract for the much-awaited welterweight showdown tentatively penned in for May 2 in Las Vegas.
“The issues are being narrowed down to extraordinarily small points,” Arum told the newspaper. “I’m optimistic it will all be put together in the next couple of days.”
Mayweather said he would not fight Pacquiao as long as Arum was his promoter after a dispute many years ago. Blood test issues help scuttle talks five years ago but after the fighters met at an NBA game in Miami earlier this week, the bout expected to be the sport’s biggest-ever moneyspinner appears close to a reality.
“Everybody is doing the right thing,” Arum told the Post on Friday. “We’re looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done.” The report said network issues are all that remain to be sorted.
Mayweather has a contract with Showtime while Pacquiao has a deal with HBO, but both stand to gain by coming together for Mayweather-Pacquiao bout that could approach US$300 million. The last time such a deal was made between the telecast rivals, it produced a Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis matchup in 2002.
Pacquiao has been calling out Mayweather for months, his latest comment last week on Twitter being, “I can easily beat Floyd Mayweather, I believe that.” After meeting at a Miami Heat game, Mayweather and Pacquiao spent an hour in the Asian star’s hotel suite talking about the possibility of meeting in the ring, Arum said.
“I think it helped a lot because we were all putting papers together, and there was still a question as to whether Floyd really wanted to do the fight or not,” Arum said. “Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and (Pacquiao adviser) Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight.”
Filipino southpaw Pacquiao, 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts, has won three fights in a row since being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his fourth bout against the Mexican. “Pac-Man”, who is 36, won a unanimous decision over Chris Aligieri in Macao last November in his most recent fight.