LOS ANGELES, California, January 20 – Floyd Mayweather has spoken to Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao by telephone to discuss a possible megafight next May, advisers to each fighter confirmed to several media outlets on Thursday.
Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe confirmed the call to ESPN while Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum did the same to BoxingScene.com and Pacquiao himself talked with ABS-CBN in the Philippines about the short conversation.
The Filipino report quoted Pacquiao as saying there would be no problem if Mayweather would agree to a 50-50 split of income from what is expected to be the richest fight in boxing history — if it ever comes off.
Unbeaten US star Mayweather and Pacquiao, regarded as the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters, nearly made a deal for a fight once before but the American’s insistence on unique anti-doping blood tests helped kill the talks.
This time, Mayweather has a May 5 date booked at a Las Vegas arena while Pacquiao’s promoter wants a late May date to assemble a huge outdoor arena so for tickets can be sold to boost profits as much as $50 million.
“Floyd wants to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 5 and he went as far as to reach out to Manny Pacquiao personally,” Ellerbe said.
Ellerbe told ESPN that Mayweather called from Las Vegas to the Philippines after earlier this month calling out southpaw Pacquiao on Twitter, taunting “Step Up, Punk” to the world welterweight champion.
Mayweather has spoken with Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz several times in recent weeks, according to all reports.
Pacquiao, 54-3 with two drawn and 32 knockouts, has won his past 15 fights over a span of nearly seven years while Mayweather, 42-0 with 26 knockouts, must serve a 90-day jail sentence starting June 1 after a domestic violence conviction.
Arum said that the issue of who Pacquiao would next fight would be resolved this coming week. Arum presented four other possible foes for “Pac-Man” as next opponents, including Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto and Americans Lamont Peterson, Tim Bradley and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.