LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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.
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.
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 — including drug testing and television rights — to reach agreement.
“I promised the fans we would get this done and we did,” Mayweather said.
Still, Pacquiao is 36 and has been through many wars in the ring. And while Mayweather has been largely untouched in his career, he turns 38 on Tuesday.
As part of the agreement, Mayweather insisted on having the right to announce the bout. He also won concessions from the Pacquiao camp on who enters the ring first, what type of gloves are used, and a number of other issues, including a reported 60-40 split of the purse.
But it didn’t take long for Pacquiao’s camp to start talking, either. Promoter Bob Arum expressed his elation in making the fight, while trainer Freddie Roach predicted a big win for his fighter.
Arum, who has promoted some of the biggest fights in history, said this one would be bigger than them all.
“This boxing match will have the interest in the U.S. of a Super Bowl,” Arum told The Associated Press. “I think it will set all kinds of pay-per-view records and gate records. It will be the biggest boxing event of all time.”
Pacquiao, meanwhile, will try to show that a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and a disputed decision loss to Timothy Bradley should not define a remarkable career that began 20 years ago in the Philippines