Boxing How a cancelled flight and fluke meeting at NBA...

How a cancelled flight and fluke meeting at NBA game paved way for richest fight ever between Mayweather and Pacquiao – Bukipress

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AFTER five years of long drawn out negotiations – Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally sealed a deal to fight.

And with over £600million generated, it proved to be the biggest bout in boxing history.

AFP – Getty

After five years of long drawn out negotiations Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally fought [/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

The boxing superstars had a coincidental meeting in 2015 [/caption]

But without a cancelled flight and one fluke meeting at an NBA game in 2015, it may not have all been possible.

In a HBO documentary, those closest to the events uncovered the bizarre details of how the sport’s biggest stars finally come together.

Here SunSport tells the story.

The beginning

In 2010, Mayweather and Pacquiao were the hottest commodities around and seemed on a collision course to meet in a mega-fight.

And as talks were underway between the two camps – right away the cracks began to appear.

Mayweather insisted on random blood and urine testing to be administered by United States Anti-Doping Association throughout their training camps.

And he wanted the testing conducted up until the night of the fight – something Pacquiao strongly opposed.

His trainer Freddie Roach explained: “Manny was scared they’d take blood the day before the fight.

“The thing is, if Manny gave blood before a fight earlier in his career with me, he would be no good for me for at least three days.”

It proved a sticking point, and when no compromise was met, the two welterweight champions moved on.

Reuters

Pacquiao refused Mayweather’s drug testing demands in 2010 [/caption]

Trying again

In 2012, again discussions took place between the fighters, this time led by broadcasters HBO.

And despite PacMan conceding to the testing demands, Mayweather felt he was the superior attraction and would not settle for a 50/50 split.

He instead would only offer his rival a flat £30m fee, rather than splitting the revenue.

Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz blasted: “We’ve always conceded talking to Floyd that, OK we’ll let him have the lions share.

“But you can’t give us crumbs either.”

So, again, an agreement fell by the wayside, with the fans now believing they were the real losers.

Getty Images – Getty

Mayweather would only offer Pacquiao a flat £30m fee to fight [/caption]

One more shot

By 2013, Pacquiao had suffered a crushing defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez, while Mayweather signed a record breaking £150m deal with network Showtime.

But after PacMan revived his career with three straight wins, whispers of a Mayweather fight again hit the headlines.

Rival networks Showtime and HBO were in talks to somehow broker a deal to stage a joint pay-per-view.

But it was a set of coincidental events that finally put Mayweather and Pacquiao face-to-face and a step closer to an agreement.

Getty Images – Getty

Mayweather and Pacquiao talk face-to-face courtside [/caption]

What are the chances?

In January 2015, PacMan was meant to fly back to the Philippines after judging the Miss Universe competition in Miami.

But after the flight was cancelled, he stayed an extra day in town and went to the American Airlines Arena to watch Miami Heat play.

As luck would have it, Mayweather was also courtside.

The pair then met on the court at half-time, as the attention soon turned to the boxing superstars opposed to the score in the match

They exchanged numbers on the spot, and agreed to meet in Pacquiao’s hotel room afterwards.

Attention at the game soon turned to Pacquiao and Mayweather

Koncz said: “All the press were going to run that was over here and it was going to go worldwide… that was promoting the fight before the fight was even made.”

Mayweather then visited Pacquiao’s suite where the two admitted enough was enough – and put in place a verbal agreement.

The American later leaked a video online, where it showed him pleading with PacMan to give the fans the fight they all wanted.

What followed was three long weeks as Mayweather took his time on putting pen to paper.

Mayweather leaked a video of his negotiations with Pacquiao

At last

Finally, in the April Mayweather confirmed on social media that he had signed his side of the contract to fight Pacquiao.

And it was that unimaginable series of circumstances that put the pair in front of each other, where they brought the talking to an end.

Long-time HBO commentator Jim Lampley said: “Who knows whether that was ultimately the critical piece of magic or whether it’s just another step along the way.

“But it happened. The universe wanted this fight to take place.”

Mayweather went on to win by decision in a tactical affair that failed to deliver in excitement.

Mayweather confirmed on social media that he had signed his side of the contract to fight Pacquiao
Getty Images – Getty

Mayweather beat Pacquiao on points[/caption]

But the PPV king remained unbeaten and put on a masterclass in counter punching and defence to finally go clear of his great rival.

With the 43-year-old now in retirement there have been talks of a rematch.

But Mayweather appears uninterested in affording Pacquiao, 41, another chance.

Instead, PacMan still regins as welterweight champion and continues to be called out by the best in the business, proving his stardom is as great as ever.

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