If you’ve been one of the many boxing fans eagerly awaiting the long-anticipated bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, you may want to thank the NBA’s Miami Heat. After having a brief, private conversation with Pacquiao in Miami at a run of the mill contest between the Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks on January 27, Mayweather cited the impromptu meeting for helping seal what may be one of pro boxing’s most lucrative fights.
“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” Mayweather said, via his Shots social media account. “Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus. This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport.”
Mayweather and Pacquiao will fight to unite their welterweight world titles May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be broadcast via pay-per-view television through what will likely be a historically profitable joint deal between both HBO and Showtime. This would be the second time both networks have ever partnered for a fight, with the first being 2002 match between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.
“I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” Pacquiao told ESPN. “They have waited long enough and they deserve it. It is an honor to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”
Pacquiao posted his signed copy of the fight contract to Instagram, and it can be viewed below.