MANILA, Philippines — After boxing supernovas Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. chatted at the halftime of an NBA game, the two held a private meeting to discuss the potential megafight on May 2, a report said.
According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Pacquiao and Mayweather met for an hour-long private meeting inside the Filipino’s private suite in Florida.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told Rafael that the meeting between the two fighters “was very pleasant and very encouraging” and that the Filipino’s camp “give Floyd credit for coming over.”
“That’s the first time they ever sat eye to eye. I’ve met Floyd many times, but he and Manny had never had a chance to meet,” Koncz said.
Pacquiao and Mayweather had a brief chat during Wednesday’s (Manila time) NBA game between the Miami Heat and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks where the two shared phone numbers.
“They talked at halftime, but this was a longer, more serious meeting. You could tell by their body language that this was very positive. It was for a good hour or more,” Koncz said.
He added that the private meeting was a “business meeting” but wasn’t of a tense nature.
“I think that’s because they both have mutual respect for each other.”
Both fighters dabbled on broadcasting issues, which have dampened the talks, as Pacquiao is under contract with Time Warner/HBO while Mayweather is under CBS/Showtime.
The two networks have to reach an agreement on a joint pay-per-view telecast which they only did once in 2002 when then heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis fought against former champ Mike Tyson.
Koncz said that Mayweather told Pacquiao two broadcasting issues.
“I told Floyd I would call [Pacquiao promoter] Bob [Arum of Top Rank] in the morning, and I did that and discussed them with Bob, and he assured us they have been worked out. I took care of it,” Koncz said. “I said to Floyd, and Manny agreed, that if those are the only two broadcasting issues, we would take care of them.”
Rafael said that Koncz declined to divulge into the details of the broadcasting requests.
Koncz added that Mayweather clearly said that he wants the fight to happen and there’s no stopping the two fighters’ desire to duke it out on May 2.
“Floyd said, ‘I want the fight to happen,’ and Manny said he does, too. If the fighters both want the fight to happen, who can stop it? They both said they want it to happen, and we’re still looking to make it happen on May 2,” Koncz said.
He added that a cross-country tour to promote the potential fight is not needed as the brief chat between the two welterweight champions in the sidelines of the American Airlines Arena generated enough buzz that a promotional tour would give.
Rafael also said in his report that the two agreed on a drug testing protocol.