LAS VEGAS (AP/PIX11) — The Fight is finally on.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in a welterweight showdown that will be boxing's richest fight ever. Mayweather himself announced the bout Friday after months of negotiations, posting a picture of the signed contract online.
At the Mendez Boxing gym in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, the news spread faster than a speed bag.
“Five minutes after they signed, a lot of people came to me rushing, telling me the fight was actually going to happen. So we’re thinking about throwing a party at the gym to show the big fight,” said gym manager Sebastian Rivas.
Gym manager Sebastian Rivas is a boxing insider, so understands why this fight is so important. But Austin Lane just came into the sport a year ago. “It’s definitely the most talked about - the one that everyone wants to see,” said recreational boxer Austin Lane.
The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record ever, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao's split of the purse will likely be around $80 million.
“For them to come to terms finally, everything’s settled, and signed the contract ya know, it’s big for the sport,” said Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight boxer Leon Abhiva. “Pacquiao is fighting Mayweather. We have an American Heavyweight Champion for the first time in almost a decade. Man, things are looking up, and I think also, additionally on a brighter up, it’s looking up and up for the boxers themselves, because they’re getting paid,” said recreational boxer Jay Bulger.
This fight hype could surpass the legendary 1971 match up between The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, and Smokin’ Joe Frazier, which was billed simply as “The Fight” at Madison Square Garden.
The fight, which matches boxing's two biggest attractions in recent years, has been in the making for five years. It finally came together in recent months with both fighters putting aside past differences over various issues to reach agreement.