Finally Mayweather vs Pacquiao to happen

2015-02-22 15:00

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It’s official – the much-awaited megafight between American Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr and Filipino Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will take place on May 2.

This mouthwatering bout is expected to gross a massive $400?million (R4.64?billion).

The final details about the world welterweight title showdown – the most anticipated and richest in boxing history – were released on Friday.

It will be staged at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to unify the fighters’ welterweight world titles.

US media reported that Mayweather would receive 60% of the purse. He stands to make some $120?million, with Pacquiao taking $80?million.

The fight has been subject to much speculation over the past five years. But the possibility of the dream encounter taking place was put on hold by Mayweather, who many criticised for apparent delaying tactics. Boxing fans never stopped exerting pressure to make the clash happen, however.

Now the unbeaten “Money”, as Mayweather is nicknamed, has announced through Shots, the social media platform he owns, that he is keen to make the fight happen.

“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” said Mayweather, referring to his earlier chance meeting with the Filipino last month.

“Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus. This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport.”

So far unbeaten in 47 professional fights (26 of them by knockout), Mayweather – who turns 38 on Tuesday – has won world crowns in five different weight classes. He is the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association welterweight kingpin.

Pacquiao, regarded as a cult hero in the Philippines, is two years Mayweather’s junior. The Filipino has compiled a ring record of 57 wins, five defeats and two draws in 64 paid fights. He holds the World Boxing Organisation diadem.

“I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” said Pacquiao on his Twitter account on Friday.

The fight will be promoted jointly by US cable networks HBO and Showtime.

The brawl between the two ring giants has been welcomed by the South African boxing fraternity.

Boxing SA board member and World Boxing Council representative Peter Ngatane said it was wonderful news that the fight was finally on.

“This is obviously the world’s biggest fight in many years. Fans worldwide will enjoy watching it with interest. It reminds me of the Muhammad Ali versus Joe Fraser bout,” said Ngatane.

Boxing historian Ron Jackson said: “This matchup is long overdue. It will go down in the history books. Bring it on!”

Renowned SA boxing referee Alf Buqwana added: “Both boxers are extremely talented. They will bring joy to viewers worldwide. This is a great fight.”

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