Negotiations for the mega-bout between Floyd "Money" Mayweather
and Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao
have been ongoing, with Golden Boy promotions' Richard Schaefer
and Top Rank's Bob Arum
representing each of the fighters considered pound-for-pound boxing's best, according to a source close to the process.
Arum is on vacation in Aspen, Colorado, and Schaefer also is on vacation.
However, their talks are slated to continue "on Monday at the earliest, and nothing is going to move any needle until then," the source said.
HBO has proposed a date of May 1 for the fight, which has not yet been discussed with Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts).
Although several sites have been broached, the bout is a natural for Las Vegas, where Kevin Lole of Yahoo! Sports reports that construction of a 30,000-seat, outdoor stadium is being considered.
Pacquiao, 30, is coming off of a historic beat-down of Miguel Cotto
(34-2, 27 KOs) on Nov. 14, a 12th-round knockout which earned him the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title -- his record seventh crown in as many weight classes.
The 32-year-old Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) was last in the ring on Sept. 19, when he scored a lopsided, unanimous decision over Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez
(50-5-1, 37 KOs).
Marquez has drawn with and lost to Pacquiao, whom Marquez still believes that he has twice beaten in disputed bouts. Mayweather was Fighter Of The Year in 2007, and Pacquiao Fighter Of The Year in 2008.
They are, without a doubt, boxing's two biggest draws.
"This fight is huge, and I don't know if the sky is the limit," said HBO sports programming head honcho, Ross Greenburg. "This is on the Super Bowl level, and it should be treated that way. We have to do it the right way and take it to another level."
Pacquiao-Cotto drew 1.25 million pay-per-view buys, the highest-performing boxing pay-per-view event in 2009, and "the biggest event of the year for pay-per-view from the standpoint of revenue generated," according to Arum.
Pacquiao-Cotto produced $70 million in pay-per-view revenue, a figure that included 650,000 purchases from cable homes, another 600,000 from satellite and telephone company services, and a record 110,000 from Cotto's native Puerto Rico alone.
Pacquiao-De La Hoya also generated 1.25 million buys, and Pacquiao-Hatton 830,000.
Mayweather-De La Hoya sold a record 2.4 million, Mayweather-Marquez, 1.05 million, and Mayweather-Hatton, 920,000.
In addition to Marquez, Mayweather and Pacquiao have two other notable common opponents in Oscar De La Hoya
and Ricky Hatton
-- each of whom they defeated in back-to-back contests.
In May and December of 2007, Mayweather earned a split-decision over De La Hoya, and stopped Hatton in the 10th round.
Then, in December 2008 and May 2009, Pacquiao stopped De La Hoya and Hatton in the eighth and second rounds, respectively.
Mayweather contends that his victories were more impressive over all three of their common opponents, and argues that he dominated Marquez who twice fought tooth-and-nail with Pacquiao.
Also, Mayweather believes that Hatton, who lost for the first time in 44 bouts against him, was not the same against Pacquiao after being stopped for the first time in his career.
In addition, Mayweather believes that Hatton, then trained by his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr.
, was being transitioned from a brawling style to that of a boxing style, and, thus, a somewhat confused fighter who could not successfully execute his dad's gameplan.
De La Hoya, said Mayweather, fought him at a more natural weight of 154 pounds, while he "was a dead man" after struggling to make 145 pounds against Pacquiao.
De La Hoya told FanHouse that he agreed with Mayweather, saying, "I lost the fight" with Pacquiao before getting into the ring.
Pacquiao supporters say that the Filipino star was simply more impressive in his victories over De La Hoya and Hatton, and that Marquez -- who had not fought above 135 pounds before facing Mayweather -- was simply too small against Mayweather.
Since losing a unanimous decision to Erik Morales
in March 2005, Pacquiao is 11-0, with eight knockouts, including four consecutive stoppages against David Diaz, De La Hoya, Hatton and Cotto.
That run includes having twice avenged the loss to Morales by 10th-, and, third-round knockouts, respectively, in January and November 2006, respectively.
Arum, who once promoted both De La Hoya and Mayweather, has called Pacquiao "the best fighter that I've ever seen -- and that includes Muhammad Ali
, and Sugar Ray Leonard
, and Marvin Hagler
The name of Mayweather was chanted as the man desired as Pacquiao's next opponent by the crowd of more than 16,200 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the aftermath of Pacquiao's victory over Cotto.
But Mayweather insists that he has not heard Pacquiao personally call him out.
"They are all talking for him, but Manny Pacquiao has yet to say he wants to fight me. If he wants to fight me, all he has to do is step up to the plate," said Mayweather, in a statement issued by his media company.
"Manny Pacquiao is the fighter, and every time someone asks him if he wants to fight me, he says it is up to his promoter, or he's going to take a vacation, or whatever the answer is," said Mayweather.
"I have yet to hear him actually say, 'yes I want to fight Mayweather,'" said Mayweather. "We are the fighters, and if one fighter is talking about fighting another fighter, then they should just come out and say it."
As for Mayweather's assertion that Pacquaio has never called him out, FanHouse.com scoured its files and found this quote published in April of 2009 -- nearly a month before Pacquiao stopped Hatton and prior to Mayweather's officially announcement of his return to the ring to face Marquez.
"I think [Mayweather] is going to fight again. He's not really retired," Pacquiao told Michael David Smith
"For me, if I'm Floyd, I would fight a tune-up and then fight me," said Pacquiao. "That's for me, but I don't know what his plan is. He might want to fight me right away."
Pacquiao may not have come right out and said, "I want to fight Floyd Mayweather," but what he did say was pretty close -- wasn't it?