Manny Pacquiao: #LetsMakeFistory

ByDan Rafael ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As 2014 came to a close on Wednesday, Manny Pacquiao continued to publicly chase the fight that he and most of the sports world want most -- a showdown with pound-for-pound king and fellow welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), who turned 36 on Dec. 17, has been way more vocal in recent months about his desire to make what would easily be the richest fight in boxing history, and on Wednesday he tweeted to Mayweather yet again, saying it was time for the two all-time greats, both in the twilight of their careers, to get together and make the fight.

Pacquiao spoke often of his desire for the fight during the lead-up to his Nov. 22 demolition of Chris Algieri and even made a Foot Locker commercial spoofing the quagmire the sides have been in. The fight has gone unmade since 2009, when it was first discussed, only to fall apart after everything but drug-testing protocol had been agreed to.

On Dec. 16, Pacquiao also tweeted to Mayweather, "Don't be a boxing humbug. Let's give the fans the fight they want. They have waited long enough."

Behind the scenes, there have been recent discussions between Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank and Leslie Moonves, the head of CBS, which has two fights left on a six-fight contract that CBS and subsidiary network Showtime signed Mayweather to in early 2013.

For it to happen, CBS/Showtime, which has Mayweather under contract, and Time Warner/HBO, which has Pacquiao under contract, likely would have to come together for a joint pay-per-view broadcast. They did it once before, in 2002, for another long-anticipated fight between HBO's then-heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and Showtime's Mike Tyson. Both were near the end of their careers, and the fight became was the highest-grossing fight in boxing history at the time.

Even if Arum and Moonves can come to an agreement on the parameters of a deal -- and the Pacquiao side is clear that it is willing to accept less than 50 percent of the money -- Moonves still has to persuade Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), who will turn 38 on Feb. 24, to make a deal.

So far it does not appear that there has been any serious movement on the Mayweather side even though Mayweather said in a Showtime interview on Dec. 12 that he wanted the fight and wanted it to happen on May 2.

"We are ready. Let's make it happen May 2. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Let's do it," Mayweather said in the interview. However, in the same interview, Mayweather put up other obstacles, including saying that the fight had to be a Showtime pay-per-view.

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