Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis called for Showtime, Floyd Mayweather Jr., HBO and Manny Pacquiao to get together and make the mega-fight happen.
Weighing in on his Twitter account, Lewis compared the Mayweather-Pacquiao situation to the network rift that kept fans from seeing a showdown with Mike Tyson but was eventually resolved, paving the way for his eighth-round knockout victory in June 2002. Lewis and Tyson were each affiliated with HBO and Showtime, respectively, at the time.
"There was all the same political BS going on when I wanted to fight @MikeTyson I said make it happen and HBO & Showtime did," stated Lewis. "If HBO and Showtime can get together for #LewisTysonIsOn and make the biggest fight in history at that time, MayPac can also happen."
The subject of facing Mayweather greeted both Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and Pacquiao during Saturday night's press conference at the MGM aGrand fter Pacquiao dethroned Bradley, regaining the WBO welterweight belt he lost by disputed split-decision to Bradley in June 2012.
Arum was asked during the gathering if a long-awaited Mayweather-Pacquiao bout could be arranged in similar fashion to Lewis-Tyson.
"If people operate in good faith and want to get something done, everything is possible. It's no reason to take threats and preconditions and say that is immutable," Arum said from his position behind the podium. "Everything can be negotiated, and everything should be negotiated. I don't think there's a downside for anybody about sitting down and making it happen. I really don't."
Showtime sports boss Stephen Espinoza addressed the issue with RingTV.com, appearing to say that if Mayweather-Pacqiao happens, it wlll have to take place on Showtime Pay Per View.
"There's one huge difference. Lennox Lewis had an exclusive contract with HBO," said Espinoza. "There's no reason that HBO should be part of a Floyd versus Manny fight when HBO didn't even bother to sign Manny to an exclusive contract."
Pacquiao's advisor, Michael Koncz, confirmed to RingTV.com that Pacquiao is not contractually bound to HBO.
"We're free agents," said Koncz. "We do not have a contract with any network. We're free agents."
Past negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao have failed over issues involving drug testing and money.
“It’s been so many years, months, days," said Pacquiao, during Saturday night's press conference in reference to Mayweather. "But, like I have said, the line is open, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If he wants to fight, the fight will be on."
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