Officials: No deal yet on Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao
Representatives of both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are “still working” on completing a deal for the mega-bout, according to Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, who dismissed Friday night reports that the fight is done.
“No. We’re still working on it,” Koncz told RingTV.com late Friday evening. “So there is nothing new to report.”
Optimism soared on Jan. 27 following a courtside discussion between Mayweather and Pacquiao at the Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks game in Miami that was followed by an hour-long meeting that included Koncz at Pacquiao’s hotel.
In disputing reports that a deal was completed, Koncz was joined by officials from Showtime, who are trying to finalize the fight along with those from HBO. Mayweather has fought four of six bouts thus far to satisfy a multi-million dollar agreement with Showtime and its parent company, CBS Corporation, while HBO has televised most of Pacquiao’s bouts.
“You’re going to see out there that TMZ is breaking news that Floyd Mayweather has agreed to the fight, but that’s not really breaking news,” said Chris DeBlasio, Showtime’s senior director of communications. “Floyd has agreed to wanting this fight for a long time, but there is no deal in place, so there is nothing new about it.”
The two networks are discussing a joint venture similar to that which produced a knockout by Lennox Lewis (HBO) over Mike Tyson (Showtime) in June 2002.
“Absolutely, progress has been made,” said Stephen Espinoza, Showtime’s sports executive vice president and general manager. “But don’t celebrate crossing a minefield until you get all the way across.”
Among the primary concerns expressed by Mayweather to Pacquiao on Tuesday, said Koncz, were the respective networks’ promotional documentaries, Showtime’s “All-Access” and HBO’s “24/7,” as well as which of their broadcasters would be assigned to work the fight.
Koncz said he spoke on Wednesday morning to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, as well as CBS Corporation Chief Executive Les Moonves and HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler toward resolving the problem.
“They came to an agreement on those two issues,” said Koncz. “It is my understanding that the networks will each do a special on their own fighter.”
Arum acknowledged having spoken to Koncz, as well as Moonves and Plepler.
“It’s just like what Espinoza said,” said Arum. “It’s just that we’re making progress. That’s a good sign.”
Pacquiao, meanwhile, is reportedly agreeable to the demands of Mayweather, which included a 60/40 split of the purse in favor of the undefeated fighter, as well as the site of the MGM and a drug-testing protocol. Last week, Pacquiao had given Mayweather a deadline of the end of “this month” to make the fight.
Before Tuesday, the closest Mayweather and Pacquiao had been to each other was when they were in the same arena in November 2001. On that night, Mayweather knocked out Jesus Chavez in defense of his WBC junior lightweight title, and IBF 122-pound beltholder Pacquiao battled to a draw with the WBO’s 122-pound titleholder Agapito Sanchez at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif.