Doug Fischer of The Ring says he heard rumors that the fight every boxing fan wants to see will be announced during the 64th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
“I’ve heard rumors that it could be announced during this weekend’s NBA All-Star game – maybe Les Moonves took my advice and brought in J. Prince to help convince Mayweather to finalize the deal. I agree that our sport needs to get over this ridiculous hump in order to show the public and the sports and business worlds that it isn’t a complete joke,” Fischer said in his “Dougie’s Friday mailbag” column in The Ring.
Fischer did not say who will make the announcement, but it has been reported that Mayweather has been designated by the parties concerned to do the announcement.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight negotiations started in 2009 but the parties could not agree on the terms of the fight including the drug testing protocols, purse splits and venue of the fight, among other things.
Early this month Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said the terms of the fight contract have been threshed out with only a few issues left to be resolved.
But Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza contradicted Arum’s statement saying that a deal between Showtime and HBO to co-broadcast the fight isn’t done yet.
Mayweather has a six-fight contract with CBS/Showtime while Pacquaio has a promotional arrangement with rival HBO.
The ongoing talks got a big boost when Mayweather and Pacquiao met at the American Airlines Stadium in Florida late last month.
The brief encounter was followed by an hour-long meeting between the two elite fighters at Pacquiao’s hotel after the game. Among others, they agreed to proceed with the talks with less media intervention.
It was reported earlier that the parties have already agreed on the terms of the fight except some issues that need to be finalized.
Before his face-to–face meeting with Pacquiao, Mayweather appeared on CBS/Showtime coverage of a weekend boxing event and announced his decision to face Pacquiao in the ring on May 2. Later both parties agreed that MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will be the venue of the fight.
Mayweather and Pacquiao have named possible opponents for their next fight in case the ongoing talks fail to gain traction that could eventually led to the termination of negotiations.
Arum has named Jessie Vargas and Amir Khan as Pacquiao’s back up opponents while Mayweather has Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan.