Take all of the Super Bowls played during the five-plus years it took for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr to finalise an agreement to fight and wrap them into one event, and you will have something equivalent to the fight scheduled for May 2.
That is the drum beat Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, is marching to the day after the super fight became official.
“This fight took about five or six years of negotiations, arguing, egos getting in the way before it finally came to fruition,” Arum said Saturday from Las Vegas in an interview with Philippines news station ABS-CBN.
“It’s the biggest fight by far in years in the sport of boxing, so I equate this to five or six years of Super Bowls all wrapped up in one fight on May 2.”
Arum also laid out the training timeline for Pacquiao, who has been conditioning in the Philippines.
He is scheduled to begin training March 9 in Los Angeles, leaving about seven weeks to prepare for the fight. Mayweather’s schedule is not certain, but he is expected to begin training soon also.
“They’ll have almost two months of training for the fight, which is even more than Manny puts in,” Arum said. “Manny will be in terrific shape for the fight. I’m sure Floyd will be as well.”
The fight, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will carry an estimated $250million purse. The contract signed by the fighters reportedly will see Mayweather paid $120million and Pacquiao $80million.
The money share has been one of the fight’s biggest hurdles since contract negotiations began in 2009, as television executives worked together, with many hiccups, to piece together a deal that would be suitable for Mayweather, who left HBO for an exclusive deal with Showtime in 2013, and HBO-signed Pacquiao.
Arum credited finalising the fight to all parties “brushing aside their egos”.
“The fight would have never come to fruition if it weren’t for the executives at CBS and HBO,” Arum said. “Right from the beginning, we said let’s put aside ego, let’s all work together and let’s make this happen because boxing needs this fight.”