Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri
Manny Pacquiao (L) of the Philippines punches Chris Algieri of the U.S. during their World Boxing Organisation (WBO) 12-round welterweight title fight at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macau November 23, 2014. Reuters

The Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao super fight is close to becoming a reality but not yet a done deal by any means. While the some of the details appears to have been ironed out— the venue will be the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the split will be 60-40 in favour of Mayweather Jr.— one major hurdle will be the agreement between HBO and Showtime networks, two of the cable giants and rivals in the United States.

According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the media outlets who first reported that negotiations were in advanced talks already, the negotiations now moves on to the two networks which handles the fighters. Pacquiao is fighting under HBO’s umbrella while Mayweather Jr. has a contract with Showtime. The L.A. Times article mentioned unnamed sources, who are boxing officials that has connections with both Mayweather and Pacquiao, confirming that HBO and Showtime will start their talks as early as Wednesday to discuss the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

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Despite being heated rivals, HBO and Showtime already worked together in the past. They co-ventured the Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson fight in 2000 and it became a very successful partnership as the bout drew record-breaking numbers then. With the lure of the the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout potentially being one of the richest in the sports’ history, the expectation is that HBO and Showtime will have little trouble agreeing to the final details considering the potential return— both in reputation and financial gains— of the said super fight.

Meanwhile, Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya reportedly are willing to give in to Mayweather Jr. and give up the May 2, 2015 fight date as demanded by the undefeated American. Earlier reports have stated that the potential Canelo Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto fight are targeting the the Cinco de Mayo weekend date but their promoters— De La Hoya with Golden Boy Promotions for Alvarez and Arum with Top Rank Promotions for Cotto— are now amenable to moving the said fight to a later date to give way for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight.

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As per the latest reports, Pacquiao has agreed on the sordid details of venue, purse split, pay-per-view sales share and drug testing. With HBO and Showtime indulged in deeper talks, the ball is now on Mayweather Jr.’s hands. What will be Floyd’s next move?

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