The most anticipated boxing match in history is on as pound-for-pound icons Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced Saturday their much awaited clash on May 2.
The welter weight duel, which has been more than five years in the making, is seen to break financial record and to draw in the biggest viewership in the history of sports.
Showtime and HBO will jointly broadcast the bout which will take place in MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Both boxers expressed their excitement for the historic clash in their social media accounts.
“What the world has been waiting for has arrived,” Mayweather, who as a flawless 47-0 record with 26 knockouts, said on Shots.
“I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it!” Mayweather added.
Filipino boxing champ Pacquiao, who has a 57-5-2 record with 38 knockouts, said he dedicates his fight with Mayweather to all his fans and for the glory of the Philippines.
“I am very happy that Floyd and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” Pacquiao, who has impressed fans with his punching power and speed in the boxing ring, said on Twitter.
Mayweather will receive the lion’s share of a 60-40 money split from the fight that could gross around $400 million, ESPN reported. Ringside tickets are expected to cost at least $5,000 each.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said the process had been tough in sealing the mega match, which has been the subject of discussions among sports analysts since 2011.
“The interest in the fight will be absolutely red-hot. I’ve been promoting boxing for nearly 50 years and there is nothing that has come close to this because there has been nothing that has been so difficult to come to fruition. As interest is concerned, this is akin to the first (Muhammad) Ali-(Joe) Frazier fight,”Arum said in a report.
Veteran sportscaster and analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz said the fight would have been more explosive had it happened four years ago, but the passage of time favoured Pacquiao.
“It is all going to depend on what kind of condition Mayweather comes in. He is older than Manny. He may age overnight in the ring,” Nathanielsz said.