We interrupt coverage from Super Bowl XLIX to give you a story on, of all things, boxing? Yes, boxing.
With its lunch getting eaten by MMA and WWE (and, to a large extent, cannibalization of itself with its murky structure and shady perception), boxing doesn't have a whole lot left to offer the pay-per-view-buying community. Despite perhaps having missed the window where aesthetically the fight itself would be a classic, "Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao" still has enough cachet to be a winner at the box office and on pay-per-view.
Amazingly, and I'll admit I had no idea this was the case, the two have never met in person before. Until last night. It happened! And it happened at, of all places, an NBA game.
Monay May and the Pac-Man were both courtside at the Miami Heat's 109-102 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, reportedly sitting on opposite sides of the court from one another, and during halftime they wandered over and had what appeared to be a cordial conversation:
In that video, Mayweather is, not surprisingly, doing most of the talking (perhaps giving Pacquiao some betting advice for this weekend's Super Bowl).
"He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other," said Pacquiao, according to the Associated Press. The third man in the conversation is Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz, who claims that it was purely a coincidence that the two were at the same game.
"They had a private, friendly discussion, and that's all I really want to say," said Koncz.
For what it's worth, it looks like the long-awaited fight between the two is set to come off, with some of the major hurdles surrounding drug testing and money and even scheduling (May 2 appears to be the date) cleared. But who knows? If it doesn't come off, then maybe they'll get the promoters and leeches out of the mix and organize a street fight somewhere on their own. They do have each other's phone numbers now.
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One thing is for certain: The first face-to-face meeting between Mayweather and Pacquiao appears to have been far more cordial than the first in-person meeting between Clubber Lang and Rocky Balboa....
Accusations of racism? Check. Fighting stance? Check. Unwanted advances toward his opponent's wife? Check. Kids, this is how trash talk got done before the days of social media.