For years, boxing fans the world over have been waiting for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to agree on a date and get things rolling already. There's no argument that this card would be the most highly anticipated, most viewed boxing match in decades. But for one reason or another, it's just never materialized.
Yet now, thanks to a chance encounter at a Miami Heat game, the world could be closer to finally getting that Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown.
The two happened to be attending the Heat-Bucks game on Tuesday night, of all things. And after the American Airlines Arena scoreboard playfully showed the two on split screen, the buzz began to happen. Things got really crazy when, at halftime, Mayweather made his way over to Pacquiao's seat to have a chat, making it the first time the two have ever met in person.
Confirmed: Manny Pacquiao on one side of the court at the Heat game tonight and Mayweather on the other side by Heat bench.— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) January 28, 2015
Pacquiao and Mayweather shown on big screen. Neither offers more than a smirk. Yet a LeBron-like buzz in building after the introductions.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 28, 2015
During a break in the game, the two boxers appeared on the scoreboard, with a caption above their heads that read "COMING 2015?"
Halftime show! "@ByTimReynolds Let's get it on: Pacquiao and Mayweather are both at the Heat game sitting courtside across from one another— Hayley Byrnes (@haylohaylz) January 28, 2015
But things went up a notch and Twitter began to explode when Mayweather, accompanied by his entourage, approached Pacquiao and started talking to him at the half.
Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather talking courtside. This is intense.— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) January 28, 2015
Cameras caught the exchange, which showed Mayweather doing most of the talking.
And, according to reports, the two exchanged numbers.
Pacquiao said he never spoke to Floyd in person before tonight. "He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other."— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 28, 2015
Some, however, were skeptical that this was a chance meeting.
I know Pacquiao and Mayweather are huge basketball fans but to stage some corny stunt at a Heat-Bucks game? Heat-Bucks? On a Tuesday?— Almost 10&6 (@FinzTaint) January 28, 2015
But Pacquiao's people insist that it was completely spontaneous. Michael Koncz, one of Pacquiao's advisers, told ESPN that the two boxers "had a private, friendly discussion, and that's all I really want to say."
The two have been saying that a fight will be happening soon, but boxing fans are skeptical after waiting for so long. Among the obstacles keeping them from duking it out in the ring have been how much each would make for the fight and how the drug testing should be implemented. They've even disagreed on where and when the fight would take place.
But recently, Mayweather said that his next fight will be on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Whether that will be against Pacquiao remains to be seen.
But if they do finally clash, America can thank the Miami Heat for making the introductions.
The Miami Heat deliver championships and are going to deliver Pacquiao-Mayweather...God bless this team.— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) January 28, 2015