It’s on! Pacquiao-Mayweather will meet in May

Monday, 23 February 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Los Angeles (AFP): Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will meet unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on 2 May in a fight fans have long craved between the finest boxers of their generation. Unbeaten American Mayweather made the long-awaited announcement on Friday via the social media website, ending weeks of increasingly intense speculation that the showdown had been set. “What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on 2 May, 2015, is a done deal,” Mayweather wrote. “I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did,” he added, posting a picture of a signed contract. Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight weight divisions, dedicated the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to fans who “willed” it into being. “I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” said Pacquiao, who also posted a picture of the contract on Twitter. “They have waited long enough and they deserve it.” In Manila, Pacquiao’s business manager Eric Pineda said they knew in advance of the match but had left it to Mayweather to make the announcement. “We just kept it under wraps,” he told AFP. “He has been training (for) two weeks,” Pineda said, adding that Pacquiao would leave for the United States in the first week of March. “This is his toughest fight,” Pineda said. The welterweight world title showdown - Mayweather owns the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association titles and Pacquiao the World Boxing Organization crown - is sure to be the richest in boxing history, generating massive pay-per-view revenue. “This is the biggest boxing event of all time, we’re confident of that,” Ken Hershman, president of HBO Sports said. “We couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it and help craft it.” Certainly the bout, more than five years in the making, is expected to break records - for gate receipts as well as pay-per-view audience and revenue. US media reported that Mayweather will receive 60 percent of the purse and stands to make some $120 million, Pacquiao taking $80 million. More importantly for fans, it will finally pit the two boxers long considered the best “pound-for-pound” fighters of their generation against each other. Previous bids to put together a fight between the two - most notably in late 2009 - had run aground over various issues, including division of the purse and a drug testing protocol.