Report: Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants Manny Pacquiao fight
Pacquiao is fighting Chris Algieri on HBO Pay-Per-View in Macau, China, whereas Mayweather is aligned with Showtime, having fought four of six bouts thus far to satisfy a multi-million dollar agreement he signed with the network and its parent company, CBS Corporation.
Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, has stated that Pacquiao is not contractually bound to HBO, stating, “We’re free agents. We do not have a contract with any network.”
“We can confirm that Floyd Mayweather definitely wants the Pacquiao fight,” a Showtime spokesperson wrote to The Times in an email that was also obtained by RingTV.com. “Everyone on our side – Floyd, CBS and Showtime – is advocating for the fight to happen.”
Although Showtime Sports boss Stephen Espinoza has declined comment through his publicist, Chris DiBlasio, The Times, citing key aides working for Mayweather and Pacquiao, reported that CBS Corporation Chief Executive Leslie Moonves has brought the two sides together.
According to The Times, officials from Showtime and HBO have discussed a joint venture between the networks similar to that which facilitated the fight between undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson in June 2002. Lewis scored an eighth-round stoppage victory over Tyson in the bout.
Lewis and Tyson were each affiliated with HBO and Showtime, respectively, at the time. Back in April, Lewis even challenged Mayweather and Pacquiao to emulate himself and Tyson on his Twitter account.
“The guy carrying the ball is Moonves,” said Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum, according to The Times. “He and I have talked on a number of occasions and he has suggested we see if we can reach an understanding. I assume, without knowing for a fact, that he’s talking to the Mayweather camp.”
Pacquiao has hinted that he wants to face Mayweather before he retires and does so yet again in a humorous commercial for Foot Locker touting the sports apparel and shoe outlet’s promotion, “The Week of Greatness.”
In the Pacquiao spot, “It’s Happening,” the eight-division titlist riffs on the ongoing attempts to schedule an oft-rumored mega fight with Mayweather.
Regarding this fight “happening” at any time now is sensitive as these two talented fighters – Pacquiao is 35 and Mayweather is 37 – aren’t getting any younger.