Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather working together to finalize fight
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao’s unscheduled meeting at a Miami Heat game has triggered rapid movement toward the long-anticipated Super Bowl of boxing.
Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that the unbeaten Mayweather visited Pacquiao at his Miami hotel suite Tuesday night after the game, expressing his feelings on what can help finalize talks that are currently centered around how to broadcast the May 2 pay-per-view fight jointly on Showtime and HBO.
“Floyd was sincere,” Koncz said.
Koncz said as a result of that talk, he has received confirmation of an agreement between CBS/Showtime Chairman Leslie Moonves and HBO Chief Executive Richard Plepler that the fight will feature two broadcasters from each premium network.
HBO’s Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman and Showtime’s Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein are the respective networks’ lead broadcasters and analysts, but Koncz declined to say which four would work the fight.
Koncz said each network also will produce an hour-long show on its fighter, Showtime doing a Mayweather story and HBO airing a Pacquiao special.
Showtime’s “All-Access” series and HBO’s “24/7” will not exist for this mega-bout, which is expected to generate a record number of pay-per-view buys, perhaps in excess of 3 million.
“With ‘24/7’ and ‘All-Access,’ I don’t believe either are necessary,” Koncz said. “This is not a normal boxing match, these two guys are superstars, as they showed just by meeting courtside at the basketball game.
“What more can you add to the fight? We don’t need those programs. So each network will do an hour special on their own fighter. That’s fair and reasonable.”
Mayweather and Pacquiao’s unexpected huddling only came about, Koncz said, because he couldn’t get two business-class airline tickets for Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee, on a Tuesday flight out of Miami, where Pacquiao was as judge in Sunday’s Miss Universe contest.
Opting to go to an NBA game between the Heat and Milwaukee Bucks, Pacquiao looked across the court to see Mayweather, who frequently attends Heat games and visits South Beach.
“Like Manny said, ‘It’s God’s will,’ ” Koncz said. “God put us together. It’s important, tremendous, for boxing for this to happen, this is the Super Bowl of boxing. We just showed up, and all these things transpired.”
While Mayweather initially scolded Pacquiao in a halftime meeting about misinformation about signed contracts coming from the side of Pacquiao and his promoter, Bob Arum, Mayweather gave Pacquiao his cellphone number and they set up the post-game meeting.
“Everyone left on good terms,” Koncz said of the meeting inside the suite. “Floyd’s very personable, very cordial.”
“Floyd pledged to get it done and get everyone on the same page,” Showtime Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza said. “It was, ‘Hey, there’s still some open issues, let’s get on the same page.’ Floyd’s in the loop on the bigger issues.
“They had a friendly, positive discussion. … It remains to be seen whether it was productive.
“The real measure of that is if can we come to an agreement.”
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