The signs look even better after they met in person in Miami, where both watched the Heat’s NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks. A video shows the pair exchanging a brief conversation before shaking hands and walking away.
The detail of the conversation between the two men is yet to be revealed, but the mere fact that the two welterweight world champions have come together is an encouraging sign for a fight the boxing world first wanted five years ago.
Former British boxer Ricky Hatton, who was knocked out by both fighters during his career, hopes a deal can be struck to put on what would be the most lucrative fight in the sport.
“I hope they can, to be perfectly honest as a boxing fan,” he said on Sky Sports. “I’d rather have seen it a few years ago round the era when they were both absolutely red hot.
“But I still think it’s the best fight in boxing, it’s absolutely massive. It would be a mega, mega fight.”
Hatton has stated for some time that he believes Mayweather would defeat Pacquiao, even though he thinks the unbeaten American showed signs of weakness in his two fights against Marcos Maidana last year.
“I think Mayweather has not shown good form in his last two fights against Maidana and Manny. After his knockout from Marquez, he seems to be getting a little bit better,” he added.
“I’d still probably give Floyd the edge but not as much as I did not so long ago.”
The rival teams have needed to agree on the purse for the two fighters – Pacquiao has stated that he would accept a lesser 40-60 split – drug-testing, venue and date while their television paymasters HBO and Showtime also had to find a broadcast compromise for the $250million event.
Most of the detail is in place, and a meeting of the two protagonists – whether by chance or staged – augers well for an announcement in the coming days. (G.Davies, philboxing)
Looking a lot less like the legendary gladiators that the boxing world has been anxiously awaiting to do battle in the ring, Filipino eight-division title holder Manny Pacquiao and undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather may have put their raging word war behind them as they seem to be exchanging cellular phone numbers when they met at courtside of the game between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday in the NBA at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo taken from Bernard Cloma’s Instagram account)