NEW YORK. — Unbeaten fighter Floyd Mayweather said on Sunday that neither he nor Manny Pacquiao signed a deal for a May mega-fight, but he still hopes to get into the ring with the Filipino icon.
Mayweather, attending the NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden, said in a brief television interview during the contest that global reports about a virtually done deal for the long anticipated bout were premature.
The Sunday Telegraph in London, citing a source in the Pacquiao camp, reported “Pac-man” had signed a deal for a fight expected to be worth US$250 million.
“That’s not true,” Mayweather said.
“I haven’t signed yet and he hasn’t signed yet. It’s just been speculations and rumours,” Mayweather said. “But I’m hopeful we can make the fight happen.”
Buzz about a potential Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on May 2 in Las Vegas has been growing all month after the Asian star’s promoter Bob Arum said a deal could be looming.
Filipino southpaw Pacquiao is 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knock-outs while Mayweather is 47-0 with 26 knock-outs.
The two were long-time rivals as the “best pound-for-pound” boxers of their generation, but the dream fight has never materialised to the disappointment of the boxing world.
Various issues have scuttled previous attempts to make the fight, including a falling-out between Mayweather and Arum.
Drug testing protocol issues contributed to the breakdown of talks five years ago, but after the fighters met at an NBA game in Miami in late January talks seemed to be progressing. — AFP.