Filipino expats in Dubai are delighted after Floyd Mayweather announced on Saturday that he will finally meet Manny Pacquiao on May 3.
“The fight we've all been waiting for is finally going to happen,” Philippine Consul General to Dubai and the Northern Emirates Frank Cimafranca told Sport360. “It will be the fight of the century.
"We may have an exciting fight or it will be a great disappointment depending on how Mayweather behaves in the ring.”
“If Mayweather chooses to rough it up with the ‘Pacman’, then it will be a great boxing match with exchanges of powerful punches that could lead to a knockout of either fighter.
However, if Mayweather elects to play safe to protect his clean undefeated record, then it will be a boring match and a big letdown as he will keep backpedalling and be dancing around the ring to avoid Pacquiao's punches.”
Cimafranca said both fighters have an even chance of winning.
“But if the fight goes the distance, Mayweather will have the advantage and could possibly benefit from a hometown decision from the judges.”
“It’s another milestone in the history of sport. No matter who wins the match, Pacquiao is already a legend.
"He makes all of us Filipinos worldwide proud,” said FilCom (Filipino Community) Dubai president Matilyn Bagunu.
“Christmas will definitely come early for us if Pacquiao wins,” added Rayan Bernardo, chairman of Synergy Sports.
“I’m happy that Pacquiao always dedicates his fight to bring glory to the Philippines.”
HSE Engineer Yuri Cipriano said “the long anticipated bout is long overdue.
I’m glad that it will finally happen; otherwise people will lose their interest in watching the two boxers in their old age
Kris Gaas, however, said that the Filipino boxing icon should concentrate fully on boxing and drop his other activities like basketball.
“He should be in top form. We don’t want to be disappointed.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao on 2nd May in a welterweight showdown that will be boxing's richest fight ever. Mayweather himself announced the bout on Friday (20 February) after months of negotiations, posting a picture of the signed contract online.
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will meet Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on May 2 in the mega-fight more than five years in the making.
Unbeaten American Mayweather made the long-awaited announcement on Friday via the social media website Shots.com, ending weeks of increasingly intense speculation that the showdown had been set.
“What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, is a done deal,” Mayweather wrote.
“I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did,” he added, posting a picture of a signed contract.
Eight-division world champion Pacquiao dedicated the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to fans who “willed” it into being.
I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 21, 2015
The welterweight world title showdown – Mayweather owns the World Boxing Council title and Pacquiao the World Boxing Organization crown — is sure to be the most lucrative in boxing history, generating massive pay-per-view revenue.
More importantly for fans, it will finally pit the two boxers long considered the best “pound-for-pound” fighters of their generation against each other.
Previous bids to put together a fight between the two – most notably in late 2009 – had run aground over various issues, including division of the purse and a drug testing protocol.
Animosity between Mayweather’s camp and Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has also been a stumbling block.
Filipino southpaw Pacquiao, 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts, has won three fights in a row since being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his fourth bout against the Mexican.
“Pac-Man,” who is 36, won a unanimous decision over Chris Aligieri in Macao last November in his most recent fight.
Mayweather, 47-0 with 26 knockouts, turns 38 on Tuesday and has two more fights in the Showtime deal that has made him the highest-paid athlete in the world.
Mayweather is homing in on the iconic 49-0 record of 1950s legend Rocky Marciano, who retired as an undefeated heavyweight champion.
Mayweather is coming off a unanimous decision over Argentine fighter Marcos Maidana last September in a rematch of a bout that Mayweather won by majority decision.
Both fighters said after their most recent victories that their showdown should happen.
In January, the two met unexpectedly at a Miami Heat NBA game and arranged a meeting at which discussions apparently got serious.
Pacquiao said last week he had agreed to the drug-testing procedures Mayweather wanted as well as other demands, and he believed an announcement of the fight was imminent.
A British newspaper reported last Sunday that Pacquiao had signed a contract and Mayweather was poised to announce the bout, possibly at the NBA All-Star Game in New York.
But in his brief courtside interview from the game, Mayweather denied the deal was done, leaving oft-disappointed fans to wonder if negotiations had stalled again.
As recently as Thursday, Arum said he “knew nothing” about the state of negotiations.
US media reported that Mayweather will garner 60 percent of the ultimate purse and will make in the region of $120 million while Pacquiao will make $80 million.
Because each fighter is contracted to a different US telecaster, contracts also had to be signed by rivals Showtime and HBO, who will team for an historic joint pay-per-view.
It is the second time Showtime and HBO have made such a deal. In 2002 they teamed for the fight between then-heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who was with HBO, and former champion Mike Tyson, who was with Showtime.