Can Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao unify the networks?
It was back in June 2002 that HBO and Showtime resolved a network rift that allowed former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis to face Mike Tyson, a fight Lewis won by eighth-round knockout.
Lewis and Tyson were affiliated with HBO and Showtime, respectively, similar to how Floyd Mayweather Jr. is currently aligned with Showtime, and Pacquiao, with HBO.
The topic of Mayweather facing Pacquiao was broached, yet again, during a Wednesday night edition of HBO’s “The Fight Game,” when host Jim Lampley asked HBO’s Max Kellerman if “some discussion may be going on behind the scenes for the kind of two-network shared pay-per-view which is the only way to facilitate Mayweather and Pacquiao.”
“Yes, because once upon a time, they didn’t need each other,” said Kellerman. “They were both moving regularly a million-plus pay per views … They need each other, and now, it can happen.”
Lewis himself weighed in on the subject on his Twitter account in April 2013,
“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.”
Mayweather dropped the hint that a Pacquiao bout was in the picture, yet again, following Saturday’s unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana at The MGM Grand on Showtime Pay Per View.
“If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself,” said Mayweather in the ring after the fight, “let’s make it happen.”
Pacquiao, meanwhile, must first get beyond a defense against Chris Algieri on Nov. 22 in Macau, China,
“I think that there should only be one obstacle to making this fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao and that’s Chris Algieri,” said Arum, during an interview with RingTV.com. “But if he gets through that fight OK, then it’s inexcusable for these guys not to fight ÔÇª it just seems so logical to me that these guys should fight.”
Pacquiao appears to be in agreement with Mayweather and Arum, the Filipino star’s advisor, Michael Koncz, told RingTV.com.
“Manny’s always said, and we’ve always said, that we’re willing and able to fight. So if Floyd wants to do it, we’ll work things out, and that’s my official statement,” said Koncz.
“But we’re not going to sit idle and wait around for the fight or to beg for the fight. However, right now, we’re focused on the November fight with Algieri, because that’s a tough and important fight.”