Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have expressed a desire to agree to a long-anticipated title bout, but it seems as though contract negotiations between the two sides have been progressing slowly for weeks.
Mayweather confirmed as much Sunday while attending the NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden in New York. Speaking to TNT during the game's broadcast, Mayweather said rumors of a deal being struck are simply "not true."
"I haven't signed yet, and he hasn't signed yet, you know," Mayweather said. "It's just been speculations and rumors. But hopefully we can make the fight happen."
Mayweather's comments came a day after the Telegraph reported that the two sides had reached a deal and would sign contracts in the days ahead.
Last month, Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, said the fight was on the verge of becoming a reality. Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espizona dismissed Arum's remarks, saying a contract had not been finalized.
“Here’s where we are: There is no contract awaiting Floyd’s signature, and Bob Arum knows that," Espinoza told The Times. "Floyd has represented to [CBS/Showtime chief] Leslie Moonves, to [his manager] Al Haymon and to me personally that he wants to make the fight, and we are making very good progress. But there are no contracts. There are open issues between Showtime and HBO that are being resolved."
Espinoza's comments came days before Pacquiao and Mayweather met in a Miami hotel after attending a Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks game on Jan. 27. During the meeting, Mayweather "was sincere" in expressing his desire to see development in contract talks, according to Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's advisor.
The two sides are negotiating for a May 2 pay-per-view fight that could be broadcast simultaneously on Showtime and HBO.
Staff writer Lance Pugmire contributed to this report.