The two most celebrated boxers currently punching -- Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- aren't officially scheduled to fight each other, but what many boxing experts call the most lucrative deal in the history of the sport could be made soon.
The winner of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight may now earn a 70 percent of the pay-per-view revenue, according to GMA News Online. The publication says a business advisor to Pacquiao's camp, Rex "Waee" Salud, has confirmed the offer. It remains to be seen whether Mayweather will accept it.
Prior to the most recent round of negotiations, Manny Pacquiao offered a 50-50 split to Floyd Mayweather, but Mayweather's camp refused it. Mayweather, whose professional record is flawless (42-0, 26 KOs), believes he deserves a majority of the money that would be made from the deal. As the lightning-fast boxer commonly says in TV interviews, "All roads lead to Floyd Mayweather Jr."
Freddy Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, offered other opinions about why Mayweather wanted more than 50 percent of the pay-per-view revenue. Roach revealed details about a phone conversation between Pacquiao and Mayweather in a recent interview: "I want that fight just as badly as you do. Manny spoke to him [Mayweather] on the phone," Roach said, according to fighthype.com. "He [Mayweather] said, 'Manny, after boxing, I have nothing and you have everything.'"
The "everything" that Mayweather was referring to is Manny Pacquiao's political career in the Philippines. He has also had an outlandish career as an entertainer since 2008.
The 70-30 split is just the latest negotiation attempt from Pacquiao's camp to find the right terms of agreement. In addition to dividing earnings fairly, each side has also had to focus on whether Olympic-style drug testing, which requires random blood samples all the way up to the fight, would be included in the deal.
Mayweather has insisted on Olympic-style drug testing his most recent fights, and although Pacquiao was initially reluctant to give blood before the fight, he eventually agreed. Now that that issue has been put to rest, the terms of the agreements are centered on PPV revenue.
Mayweather still holds the pay-per-view record of 2.4 million buys in his fight with Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. In his last fight versus Victor Ortiz, Mayweather only earned 1.25 million buys. That number is in the ballpark of Manny Pacquiao's fights, which have typically earned 1.25 million buys.
The new president of HBO Sports, Ken Hershman, has said a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather bout has a "sell-by date" of later this year or early next year.
"I would love the fight to happen, obviously," Hershman told ESPN. "It would be a tremendous fight and event. That being said, I understand each side's position and view of the world, and they are not coming together just yet. We have a lot of great fights we could make with Floyd and Manny and we hope to be involved in every one. They are key assets to this network. We will be as supportive as we can to be as successful as possible with whichever fights they are in."
Mike Tyson had a slightly different idea. In an interview on WXYT in Detroit, Tyson jokingly said, "If I was president I would throw them in jail if they didn't fight. I'd have them arrested. You can't do that, but that's what I would try to do. I'd be like, 'These guys need to get locked up and find a new profession until they get their heads clear.'"
As the world waits for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to agree to fight each other, it can at least look forward to seeing each fighter in separate bouts this year.
Pacquiao (54-3, 38 KOs) will fight Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The WBO Welterweight title will be on the line.
Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) will fight Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) on May 5 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Although both men hold title belts, it has not been announced whether any title will be on the line in this fight.