29 January, 2015. 13:10
IMRAN GASHKORI | Sports Journalist | Contact
Hours after a public face-to-face meeting and brief discussion during halftime of Tuesday night’s Miami Heat–Milwaukee Bucks game in Miami, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. met privately for more than an hour to continue discussing terms for their proposed May 2 megafight.
They met inside Pacquiao’s hotel suite and “it was very pleasant and very encouraging, and we give Floyd credit for coming over,” Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz, who was present at the meeting, told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “That’s the first time they ever sat eye to eye. I’ve met Floyd many times, but he and Manny had never had a chance to meet.”
“It was a business meeting, but it wasn’t a tense business meeting. I think that’s because they both have mutual respect for each other. We’ll determine what will happen over the next couple of days.”
The halftime meeting, which Pacquiao said was the first time he and fellow welterweight champion Mayweather Jr. have ever met, resulted in an exchange of phone numbers and lit up social media as sports fans continued to hope this latest twist would get them closer to fighting each other.
They have been negotiating the terms and have agreed on two things.
1. This fight will take place in The Phillipines.
2. Both camps agree:
“This will be the return of Don King”
The TMT camp have put forward a spokesperson who has since clarified that the iconic Boxing promoter, one that still holds a lot of clout in Pacquiao’s home country, will return to his trade to help both parties get this fight off the ground.
Don King, whose career highlights include promoting “The Rumble in the Jungle” and the “Thrilla in Manila” says he would be more than happy to finish his career on such a high.
“I feel it is time for my final act. Young men have fought each other for years… the only ones you ever hear about are the ones that I organised. No one needs to get exploited this time around. We all have more than enough money.” says the 83-year old.
King has promoted some of the most prominent names in boxing, including Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Julio César Chávez, Ricardo Mayorga, Andrew Golota, Félix Trinidad, Roy Jones, Jr. and Marco Antonio Barrera.
While the controversial boxing magnate has received much criticism over the years, it appears he is the only one for the job.
Mayweather admits that agreeing to a fight in Pacquiao’s hometown is somewhat of a compromise – however, he has stated that it is necessary if the two want to put on a spectacle that rivals the infamous bouts hosted by King in the 70’s and 80’s.
“I have full confidence that I will be able to beat Pacquiao. I have no problem with fighting him in the tropics. I have no problem with King’s involvement – he aint’ taking money from me like he did those other sucka’s (sic). I am different to the rest. I’m not just a businessman… I’m a business, man”
Pacqiauo’s camp have also confirmed that any earnings made by the Filipino national will be donated to typhoon relief in his home country. Mayweather has not commented on whether or not he will be doing the same.
“Let’s talk about the money later”
The sides have been negotiating what will certainly be the richest fight in boxing history, but no deal has been struck yet. One of the issues is that Time Warner/HBO, which has a contract with Pacquiao, and CBS/Showtime, which has Mayweather under contract, need to hammer out terms for a joint pay-per-view telecast, which they did once before for the 2002 fight between then-heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis and former champ Mike Tyson.