Friday, December 4, 2009
Updated: December 7, 12:02 PM ET
Source: Pacquiao agrees to 50-50 split
By Dan Rafael
Manny Pacquiao has signed a contract to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in boxing's biggest fight on March 13, a source with knowledge of the meeting told ESPN.com on Friday night.
Pacquiao and promotor Bob Arum met for two hours Friday to discuss the proposed deal, according to Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz, who told The Associated Press that "Manny has some additional requirements, requests, which Arum didn't think was a problem.
"The requests of Manny were so realistic that Arum doesn't feel it's a problem and it's pretty much a done deal," Koncz said.
Later Friday it became a done deal, at least on the Pacquiao side, when he signed the paperwork, the source said.
Mayweather had previously agreed to terms with Golden Boy Promotions, his promoter for the HBO PPV fight, but it was unclear if he had signed a contract.
The source also disclosed other aspects of the fight, which will take place at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds for Pacquiao's title and match the top two fighters in the world, pound-for-pound.
The camps agreed to a 50-50 split of the money, which could be gargantuan. Many experts expect the fight to eclipse the all-time pay-per-view record for sales, which is the 2.44 million buys generated by Mayweather's 2007 victory against Oscar De La Hoya.
Both fighters will wear 8-ounce gloves but each fighter will be allowed to select the brand of gloves he will wear for the fight.
For promotional purposes, the bout will be referred to as Mayweather-Pacquiao, but Top Rank will receive first billing over Golden Boy throughout the promotion.
However, instead of a full-scale media tour, there will only be a single press conference in New York during the second week of January. With the schedule compressed because of the March 13 date for the fight, rather than May 1, which the promoters and HBO PPV preferred, it didn't leave time for a lengthy media tour.
The fight is going to take place March 13 because Pacquiao is running for a congressional seat in the Philippines and the elections are in May, which would have been a conflict between his training and the campaign.
Pacquiao will spend the first half of his training camp in Baguio in the Philippines, where he also trained for the first part of his camp in preparation for his 12th-round knockout victory against Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14. For the final few weeks of his training, Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach will relocate to Roach's Wild Card gym in Hollywood, Calif.
The site of the bout has not been finalized. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has expressed interest in bringing the fight to his new stadium as have representatives from the Superdome in New Orleans. Also in the mix is the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which has hosted several Pacquiao and Mayweather bouts. Arum has also received a proposal for a 30,000-seat temporary stadium on the Las Vegas Strip across from the Wynn resort.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.