Philippines stylist Manny Pacquiao has signed a deal to fight Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather on 13 March in what will be the richest fight in boxing history.
Each fighter can earn over $50 million in what will generate over $150m in gate receipts and pay-per-view revenue.
Both camps thought they should get a lion’s share of the promotion but have settled on a 50-50 split.
Undefeated Mayweather has agreed to the bout and is expected to sign this week.
Mayweather, 40-0 with 25 knockouts, was regarded as the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter before a 19-month layoff that ended in September.
Pacquiao, 50-3 with 38 knockouts, staked his claim as the pound-for-pound king in Mayweather’s absence by knocking out England’s Ricky Hatton in the second round in May and stopping Miguel Cotto in the 12th round last month.
Each fighter’s side was seeking a 60-40 share of proceeds and for a time it appeared the only mega-fight on boxing’s horizon might not be made.
This showdown could bring record profits to break the mark set by Mayweather’s split-decision victory over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 that generated $52m for the Golden Boy and $25m for Money in a promotion that generated over $120m.
The welterweight clash is set at the 147-pound limit and each fighter can select the brand of eight-ounce gloves he desires.
The promotion, expected to carry Mayweather’s name ahead of Pacquiao’s but give Pac-Man’s promoter Top Rank a higher billing over Golden Boy, will be launched with a January news conference in New York.
Pacquiao is running for congress in his homeland and elections are in May, which scuttled plans for a May date for the fight.
Pacquiao will begin training in his homeland and complete his workouts at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym in Hollywood.
The venue has not been set yet, with two Las Vegas sites, the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Texas and the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans among those interested in hosting the bout.
Although Mayweather will start favourite because he is naturally the bigger man and is unbeaten, Cayman boxing coach Donie Anglin is a big Pacquiao fan and he believes the Filipino legend will be too fast for Money.
‘I’m not going against Pacquiao,’ Anglin said. ‘He’s proven himself in wars and although Mayweather is a great fighter, he has never been in really hard fights and not really proven himself.’