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IT'S ON: MAYWEATHER SAYS HE AND PACQUIAO TO FIGHT MAY 2

The Fight is finally on. Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in a welterweight showdown that will be boxing's richest fight ever. Mayweather himself announced the bout Friday after months of negotiations, posting a picture of the signed contract online. "I promised the fans we would get this done and we did," Mayweather said. The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao's split of the purse will likely be around $80 million. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Column: Late, yes, but Mayweather-Pacquiao will deliver


Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao slept through the big announcement, secure in knowing that the fight was already made and the questions would finally stop.He campaigned for a shot with Floyd Mayweather Jr. with a tenacity befitting a congressman from the Sarangani Province, making him a winner long before the two step into the ring May 2. If Mayweather got most everything he wanted out of the deal, Pacquiao got the thing he wanted most — a chance to finally settle matters inside the squared circle that took him on an improbable path from the depths of poverty in the Philippines. "Finally! It's been five years in the making," Pacquiao told Manila's GMA television Saturday from his hometown of General Santos city. "I'm very excited about this fight. I will no longer be bothered by people who keep on asking if the fight will ever happen." That it is happening is in large part due to a carefully orchestrated campaign that began in China in November to build pressure on Mayweather, and a serendipitous meeting at a basketball game in Miami that took place only because an ice storm blanketed the East Coast and delayed Pacquiao's travel plans. CONTINUE READING....

ALSO: Long overdue Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will not save boxing


Manny Pacquiao defeats Chris Algieri in November. (AP)
Over and over, shoulder roll after shoulder roll, Roach, maybe more than any participant, promoter or fan, dreamed of the dream matchup. "It's a huge challenge For years now, when blessed with a free moment, Freddie Roach would pull up video of Floyd Mayweather fights and look for weaknesses. He was devising a strategy just in case his fighter, Manny Pacquiao, actually one day got a shot at the unbeaten champ. "It's a huge challenge for Manny, no question," Roach told Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole. "But I think it's a fight that he can win." Now, or at least May 2, we'll find out. CONTINUE READING...

EARLIER FROM ESPN NEWS SERVICE: Bob Arum: Deal close on megafight

The megafight that the boxing world has been clamoring for between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. should be finalized in "the next couple days," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told the New York Post. The sides have been negotiating what will certainly be the richest fight in boxing history, but no deal has been struck yet. The two fighters met privately for more than an hour on Tuesday in Miami. "Everybody is doing the right thing," Arum told the Post on Friday. "We're looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done." One of the issues is that Time Warner/HBO, which has a contract with Pacquiao, and CBS/Showtime, which has Mayweather under contract, need to hammer out terms for a joint pay-per-view telecast, which they did once before for the 2002 fight between then-heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis and former champ Mike Tyson. They have been negotiating the terms. READ MORE...

ALSO: WATCH Pacquiao talks about his preparations for the Mayweather fight

Watch video below......

Pacquiao says he won't have difficulty preparing for Mayweather


VIDEO CAPTURE.... On the same day that Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced their superfight, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao instantly launched into training for the highly-anticipated bout scheduled on May 2. In a live interview on "24 Oras", the eight-division champion said he already knows the preparation he has to do to get past the undefeated pound-for-pound king's famous defensive style. "Alam na alam ko na 'yung gagawin ko sa training para sa style niya," the Sarangani representative said of Mayweather. READ MORE...

ALSO Mayweather: Pacquiao fight won’t define my legacy


Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
MANILA, Philippines – Floyd Mayweather Jr. sees nothing special about the megabuck showdown with Manny Pacquiao as far as his legacy is concerned. For Mayweather, the fight – expected to be the riches in the history of the sport – is just another day in the office. “Well I don't feel that one fight defines my legacy. To me, it's just another day. It's just another fight,” the undefeated American told fighthype.com's Ben Thompson a day after announcing that the Pacquiao tussle is finally a go. CONTINUE READING...


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It's on: Mayweather says he and Pacquiao to fight May 2


© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

LAS VEGAS, FEBRUARY 22, 2015 (THE CANADIAN PRESS) Tim Dahlberg - The Fight is finally on. Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in a welterweight showdown that will be boxing's richest fight ever. Mayweather himself announced the bout Friday after months of negotiations, posting a picture of the signed contract online.

"I promised the fans we would get this done and we did," Mayweather said.

The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao's split of the purse will likely be around $80 million.

The fight, which matches boxing's two biggest attractions of recent years, has been in the making for five years. It finally came together in recent months with both fighters putting aside past differences over various issues — including drug testing and television rights — to reach agreement.

Pacquiao was sleeping in the Philippines when the fight was announced, but his camp issued a statement saying the fans deserve the long awaited fight.

"It is an honour to be part of this historic event," Pacquiao said. "I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world."

While the fight rivals the 2002 heavyweight title bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson for interest, it comes more than five years after the first real effort to put the fighters together in their prime. Most boxing observers believe both have lost some of their skills, though Mayweather remains a master defensive fighter and Pacquiao showed in his last fight against Chris Algieri that he still has tremendous quickness in his hands.

Still, Pacquiao is 36 and has been through many wars in the ring. And while Mayweather has been largely untouched in his career, he turns 38 on Tuesday.

"I am the best ever, TBE, and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win," Mayweather said in his announcement. "Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won't be successful. He will be No. 48."

Oddsmakers believe Mayweather will do just that, making him a 2 1/2-1 favourite in the scheduled 12-round bout. The fight is expected to do record business in Nevada's legal sports books, with tens of millions wagered on the outcome.

It will also do record business at the box office — with the MGM expected to be scaled far higher than the $20 million live gate for Mayweather's 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez. The pay-per-view revenue also is expected to be a record, though television executives said Friday they had yet to actually fix a price for people to buy the fight at home.

The fight will be televised as a joint venture between competing networks Showtime and HBO, which will share announcers with Jim Lampley and Al Bernstein reportedly handling the task at ringside.

Pacquiao began pushing hard for the fight after beating Algieri in November in Macau, and negotiations picked up last month when the two fighters met by chance at a Miami Heat basketball game and later talked with each other in Pacquiao's hotel room about making it happen.

"It's one of those fortuitous circumstance we couldn't have planned," Showtime boxing chief Stephen Espinoza said. "But we were lucky that it happened."

As part of the agreement, Mayweather insisted on having the right to announce the bout. He also won concessions from the Pacquiao camp on who enters the ring first, what type of gloves are used, and a number of other issues, including a reported 60-40 split of the purse.

But it didn't take long for Pacquiao's camp to start talking, either. Promoter Bob Arum expressed his elation in making the fight, while trainer Freddie Roach predicted a big win for his fighter.

"Floyd should enjoy being the A-Side while he can because on May 2 Manny is going to put him on his backside," Roach said.

Arum, who has promoted some of the biggest fights in history, said this one would be bigger than them all.

"This boxing match will have the interest in the U.S. of a Super Bowl," Arum told The Associated Press. "I think it will set all kinds of pay-per-view records and gate records. It will be the biggest boxing event of all time."

Both fighters will bring 147-pound titles into the ring, but the fight is about far more than belts. Mayweather, who is unbeaten in 47 fights, wants to stake his claim as one of the greatest fighters ever, and remove any doubts about his legacy by fighting the boxer who is thought to be the greatest challenge of his career.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, will try to show that a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and a disputed decision loss to Timothy Bradley should not define a remarkable career that began 20 years ago in the Philippines

Don't tune in looking for a big knockout, either. The last time Pacquiao stopped anyone was in 2009 when he finished off Miguel Cotto in the 12th round, while Mayweather has only stopped one fighter (Victor Ortiz) in the last eight years.


ASSOCIATED PRESS/PHILSTAR

Column: Late, yes, but Mayweather-Pacquiao will deliver By Tim Dahlberg, AP Sports Columnist (Associated Press) | Updated February 22, 2015 - 11:56am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao slept through the big announcement, secure in knowing that the fight was already made and the questions would finally stop.

He campaigned for a shot with Floyd Mayweather Jr. with a tenacity befitting a congressman from the Sarangani Province, making him a winner long before the two step into the ring May 2. If Mayweather got most everything he wanted out of the deal, Pacquiao got the thing he wanted most — a chance to finally settle matters inside the squared circle that took him on an improbable path from the depths of poverty in the Philippines.

"Finally! It's been five years in the making," Pacquiao told Manila's GMA television Saturday from his hometown of General Santos city. "I'm very excited about this fight. I will no longer be bothered by people who keep on asking if the fight will ever happen."

That it is happening is in large part due to a carefully orchestrated campaign that began in China in November to build pressure on Mayweather, and a serendipitous meeting at a basketball game in Miami that took place only because an ice storm blanketed the East Coast and delayed Pacquiao's travel plans.

It's happening because trainer Freddie Roach ran into CBS chief honcho Les Moonves, which led to a sit down with promoter Bob Arum and kicked off the talks.

Most of all, though, it's happening because Mayweather himself finally deciding the time was right and the money was so big — he figures to pocket $120 million or so himself — that he would risk his unbeaten mark and his legacy against the speedy lefty who throws punches in seemingly random combinations that most of his opponents have found difficult to decipher.

Mayweather believes he won't have those difficulties, and oddsmakers in this gambling city agree with him. They make him a 2 1/2-1 favorite to pocket all the welterweight titles in a fight that will almost surely break all records when it comes to the thing that matters most in boxing these days — how much money can be sucked out of the pockets of boxing fans starving for the bout.

That means $5,000 tickets at ringside, and most likely $90-100 to watch the fight at home on pay-per-view. It means rooms that were already jacked up to $1,231 for two nights at the MGM Grand jumped to $1,592 on the announcement, and it means a huge money drop in the casinos and the most money ever bet on a fight.

It means more attention will be paid to a sport supposed to have long been dead than will be paid to sports that are very much alive.

And it means the richest fight and the biggest purses ever paid boxers on a day that will be one of the biggest in sports history with the Kentucky Derby and basketball and hockey playoffs preceding the main event.

What it doesn't mean is that this will be the fight that will save boxing. You might remember that was supposed to happen in Mayweather's first megafight in 2007 when he won a decision over Oscar De La Hoya, but all that did was give Mayweather a persona he could sell for his own infrequent fights.

Besides, boxing is beginning to do pretty well even without the fight everyone has wanted for so long. Say what you want about Mayweather adviser Al Haymon locking up almost every boxer who can lace up gloves, but he's put boxing back on free television — and on two different networks, to boot.

Deontay Wilder, an exciting big puncher and talker who is also an Olympic medalist, has a piece of the heavyweight title. There are rising stars in almost every division, and more competitive fights are being made than any time in recent history.

Strip it all away and this is a fight about legacies, a one-off bout that will end up defining both fighters. That's increasingly important to Pacquiao at the age of 36 after 20 years in the ring, but it's crucial for Mayweather — who turns 38 on Tuesday — and the way he believes he should be perceived by the world.

Mayweather wants to be known as the best fighter ever, not just a guy who flashes wads of money and wins boring fights. It's a notion that seems absurd when you consider his lack of fights, hand-picked opponents, and aversion to mixing it up in the ring. But he repeated it when he announced the fight Friday, and it is what he believes.

Give him credit for winning all 47 times he has stepped into the ring. Give him credit for mastering the art of pay-per-view sales and turning himself into a larger-than-life character who commands attention wherever he goes.

But most of all, give him credit for finally stepping up to the plate to make the one fight that fans have been demanding.

Yes, it's happening five years too late. It probably would have been a better fight when both were in their absolute prime.

Somehow, though, that doesn't make it any less intriguing.


YAHOO SPORTS

Long overdue Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will not save boxing Dan Wetzel By Dan Wetzel February 20, 2015 6:19 PM Yahoo Sports


Manny Pacquiao defeats Chris Algieri in November. (AP)

Over and over, shoulder roll after shoulder roll, Roach, maybe more than any participant, promoter or fan, dreamed of the dream matchup.

For years now, when blessed with a free moment, Freddie Roach would pull up video of Floyd Mayweather fights and look for weaknesses. He was devising a strategy just in case his fighter, Manny Pacquiao, actually one day got a shot at the unbeaten champ.

"It's a huge challenge for Manny, no question," Roach told Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole. "But I think it's a fight that he can win."

Now, or at least May 2, we'll find out.

The mega-fight is signed and what will come in a 2½-month blitz of promotion will be big hype, big talk and big money. The bout promises to shatter all sorts of records, from total gate to pay-per-view purchases until both parties rake in more than $100 million each.

What it won't do is "save" the sport or anything along that vein, even if that's what will almost certainly become a media narrative.

Boxing isn't going to be saved by anything. This is a different era, a different time. No one fight can spin the calendar back to the 1960s. In many ways, it doesn't need to be saved. There remains a vibrant base of fans, just more heavily centered on African-Americans and Hispanics.

Older white fans, obsessed with mainstream stick-and-ball sports, will always lament the lack of a compelling heavyweight division, but reality isn't changing.

Boys of that size are going to be pushed to basketball and football, where more money, opportunity and scholarships await.

Boxing has always been a sport for the poorest of the poor. Pacquiao left his boyhood home in General Santos City in the Philippines at age 14 because his parents had too many mouths to feed. Mayweather simply went into the family business, following his father Floyd Sr. and uncle Roger.

This is the reality of boxing. The lower weight classes, where other pro sports opportunities are limited, are where the action is. The result is lots of intrigue for the diehards and an occasional burst into the mainstream when two greats get together.

The nightmare for boxing was if this slipped by entirely, a casualty to ego and anti-competitiveness.

The last fight to "save" boxing was Mayweather's 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya. It generated huge media, captured the nation's attention and did a record 2.5 million pay-per-view buys.

It didn't save boxing.

If that didn't do it, this won't.


Floyd Mayweather (L) on the defensive against Marcos Maidana in September. (AP)


That fight served a purpose by launching the then 30-year-old Mayweather, who won, into the sport's biggest draw. Both Floyd and Manny are already established and nearing the twilight of their careers, so there will be no bounce outside of a possible rematch if this is close or controversial.

Boxing needs to save itself and has made some steps to do that. HBO's "24/7" series, pushed by Mayweather for years, helped humanize fighters and cut through the lack of boxing-centric media. The new NBC-televised boxing series run by Mayweather's manager, Al Haymon, is the latest effort.

Even then, there is only so much ground that can be gained.

Time will tell if the action can come close to matching the buildup, but even after years of delays and both men now in their upper 30s it's a tantalizing matchup between offense and defense.

"I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years," Pacquiao told Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole. "They have waited long enough and they deserve it. It is an honor to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world."

Yes, it shouldn't have taken this long. That doesn't mean the making of the fight should be brushed aside as irrelevant. Would it have been better in 2009? Sure. Is boxing in position to brush it aside? Hardly.

May 2 will be a great day for boxing. Any suggestion otherwise is contrarian ridiculousness.

Mayweather will be 38, but still 47-0. Pacquiao is 36 and after two setbacks in 2012 – one an extremely controversial decision – sits at 57-5-2, but can still flatten you with that straight left of his. Both men have slowed a bit, but that just adds to the dynamic.

Although it's Pacquiao who has lost fights and looked at times like a lesser man, the fact Mayweather was tagged a few times by Marcos Maidana in their two bouts of late suggests the once unhittable might be vulnerable.

This is the best boxing is going to provide, and gives the sport a chance to move to the forefront for a few days as everyone gets drawn into a strategic battle that will be surrounded by every imaginable bit of pageantry.


Manny Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach talk during a pre-fight press conference in Shanghai on August 2014 (AFP)

Manny Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach talk during a pre-fight press conference in Shanghai on August 2014 … This is what it's supposed to be about, because no matter how self-destructive boxing can be, there is nothing quite like a big prizefight on the Vegas Strip. The fact tickets to the MGM Grand Garden will be among the toughest the town has ever seen, let alone the possible $100-a-pop PPV orders around the globe, will prove that.

Boxing is boxing, and its best option here in 2015 is to stop apologizing for that, stop lamenting that time slipped by for this fight, and just sit back and bask in the coming storm.

Mayweather-Pacquiao.

They've been staring each other down for years now – trainers even grinding footage for hints of a far-off flaw.

So relax and enjoy it. At this point, for this sport, it's as good as it gets.


EARLIER FROM ESPN NEWS SERVICE

Bob Arum: Deal close on megafight Updated: February 2, 2015, 7:41 PM ET ESPN.com news services

The megafight that the boxing world has been clamoring for between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. should be finalized in "the next couple days," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told the New York Post.

The sides have been negotiating what will certainly be the richest fight in boxing history, but no deal has been struck yet. The two fighters met privately for more than an hour on Tuesday in Miami.

"Everybody is doing the right thing," Arum told the Post on Friday. "We're looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done."

One of the issues is that Time Warner/HBO, which has a contract with Pacquiao, and CBS/Showtime, which has Mayweather under contract, need to hammer out terms for a joint pay-per-view telecast, which they did once before for the 2002 fight between then-heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis and former champ Mike Tyson. They have been negotiating the terms.

"I think it helped a lot because we were all putting papers together, and there was still a question as to whether Floyd really wanted to do the fight or not," Arum told the Post of the Miami meeting. "Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and [Pacquiao adviser] Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight."

Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), the 36-year-old Filipino legend, and Arum have repeatedly said they have agreed to all of the terms outlined by Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), who turns 38 in February, during talks with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who has served as the go-between on behalf of Mayweather and his adviser, Al Haymon.

Mayweather has said he intends to fight May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, be it against Pacquiao or somebody else.


GMA NEWS NERWORK

WATCH Pacquiao talks about his preparations for the Mayweather fight February 21, 2015 10:18pm 2292 84 0 2398

VIDEO Tags: Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Manny Pacquiao

 

VIDEO URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZhMjq2obbk&feature=player_embedded

Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally confirmed Saturday, Philippine time, that he and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao have agreed to fight at the MGM Grand Las Vegas on May 2.

Pacquiao gave a live interview on "24 Oras" on Saturday evening to talk about his preparations for the long-anticipated bout. — GMA News


Pacquiao says he won't have difficulty preparing for Mayweather February 21, 2015 9:43pm 9 33 0 75


VIDEO CAPTURE

On the same day that Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced their superfight, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao instantly launched into training for the highly-anticipated bout scheduled on
May 2.

In a live interview on "24 Oras", the eight-division champion said he already knows the preparation he has to do to get past the undefeated pound-for-pound king's famous defensive style.

"Alam na alam ko na 'yung gagawin ko sa training para sa style niya," the Sarangani representative said of Mayweather.

Pacman started jogging on Satruday morning and then on to shadow boxing in the gymnasium. The boxer, who is also the playing coach of Kia Carnival in the PBA, also spared some time for basketball cross-training.

Pacquiao, who demolished Chris Algieri in Macau in November, said his training for Mayweather will likely be the same as his training against the former kickboxer.

"I think hindi ako mahihirapan dahil especially 'yung preparation ko nung last fight, similar dun sa gagawin ko for this fight," he said.

Pacman's schedulehas yet to be finalized, but he said he will fly to the US soon to continue his training. — Marisse Panaligan/JDS, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Mayweather: Pacquiao fight won’t define my legacy (philstar.com) | Updated February 22, 2015 - 12:34pm 13 6 googleplus0 0


Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Floyd Mayweather Jr. sees nothing special about the megabuck showdown with Manny Pacquiao as far as his legacy is concerned.

For Mayweather, the fight – expected to be the riches in the history of the sport – is just another day in the office.

“Well I don't feel that one fight defines my legacy. To me, it's just another day. It's just another fight,” the undefeated American told fighthype.com's Ben Thompson a day after announcing that the Pacquiao tussle is finally a go.

Mayweather is undefeated in 47 outings and believes that Pacquiao will be his 48th victim. He pointed out his several advantages over the Filipino icon.

“I mean, when you just look at the tale of the tape, I have a longer reach, I'm taller, I'm stronger, and I'm more accurate,” he stressed.

Mayweather, currently the WBC welterweight champion, has held titles in five divisions while Pacquiao has won crowns in an unprecedented eight weight classes. Entering their May 2 clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, he will enjoy a five-inch reach advantage over Pacquiao (72 inches to 67 inches).

Mayweather is also taller at 5-foot-8 compared to Pacquiao, who stands 5-foot-6 ½.

Apart from those physical advantages, the Las Vegas-based fighter singled out one edge he has over Pacquiao: Mayweather now has Alex Ariza in his corner.

“I think I seen a major change in Pacquiao when Alex Ariza left his training camp. Which is a great thing Alex is working with me now. He's a strength and conditioning coach and he's a great guy,” said Mayweather of Ariza, who used to work on Pacquiao’s conditioning until his bitter falling out with the Filipino’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach.

Boxing experts, however, had claimed that not fighting each other would leave a big asterisk in both Mayweather and Pacquiao’s legacies.

But now that they’re finally fighting, Mayweather and Pacquiao have the chance to further enhance their storied careers. – Dino Maragay


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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