Amid efforts to finally bring them together inside the ring, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather met personally for the first time, chatted briefly, exchanged phone numbers and shook hands at the halftime of an NBA Game between Miami Heat and Milwaukee on Tuesday in Florida.
Photos and even a short video of their brief conversation flooded various boxing websites and the social media particularly Facebook where the video drew different reactions mostly seeing it as prelude to their highly-anticipated mega fight on May 2.
”A meeting that could be worth well over a million dollars happened in Miami and the boxing world is abuzz!,” Yahoo Philippines described it.
According to Los Angeles Times, the fight between the most sought-after figures in world boxing today “would almost certainly be the richest ever in boxing, potentially grossing as much as USD 250 million [roughly Php10 billion].”
Mayweather has been demanding for 60-40 split in his favor. Pacquiao has agreed.
‘’He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other,’’ Pacquiao told the LA Times.
Last month, Mayweather said he is ready to fight Pacquiao on May 2 this year. Pacquiao also agreed to the date.
Pacquiao also agreed to Mayweather’s other demands including compulsory blood test prior to the fight, a demand the undefeated American fighter asked five years ago.
Recently, the two boxers traded barbs with Mayweather saying he has no doubt that the can beat the Filipino boxing superstar whom he said is not on his level.
Pacquiao also twitted recently that “‘I can easily beat Floyd Mayweather, I believe that.’’
Pacquiao, also a playing-coach in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and a congressman of lone district of Saranggani province, is in Florida after he served as one of the judges of the Miss Universe pageant on January 25.
At the halftime break, the photos of Mayweather and Pacquiao have been put on the video screens with the caption “Coming in 2015”, according to LA Times report.
Mayweather, undefeated in 47 fights, is the reigning WBA and WBC welterweight champion, while Pacquiao, 57-5-2, is the WBO king.