Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Pair finally meet at NBA game and shake hands
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have met for first time, shaking hands and exchanging phone numbers during the Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks NBA game in Florida.
It has been heavily reported in America that "Money" Mayweather will announce his next opponent during Sunday’s NFL showpiece, the Super Bowl, so does this handshake confirm that the super-fight, which the world has waited six years to see, will finally take place this year?
Mayweather, 37, had previously revealed that his next bout will be on 2 May, with a rematch against the Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto also mooted.
"He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other," Pacquiao, who confirmed that it was the first time they had met in person, said at the game.
ESPN report that Pacquiao later clarified that the exchange of numbers was to directly negotiate about meeting in the ring.
Pacquiao, 36, currently holds the WBO welterweight belt, while Mayweather, unbeaten in his 47 fights, is the WBC and WBA champion in the thrilling 147lb division.
Back in 2009, Pacquiao's refusal to agree to Mayweather's demand for Olympic-style drug testing was a major reason why talks broke down for the bout, but the Filipino's camp have said that he has agreed to all of Mayweather’s terms and conditions, including a 60-40 split in Mayweather’s favour.
With pay-per-view revenues, the fight could generate $300m.
The American Airlines Arena put photos of both fighters on their video screens during a first-half stoppage in play last night, with the caption "Coming in 2015?" It looks to have edged ever closer.
Belfast Telegraph Digital