Momentum for Pacquiao-Mayweather megafight grows
AP Boxing Writer
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Promoters plan to go to Dallas to meet Wednesday with Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones as the momentum continues to grow for a March 13 megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Promoters Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer were to tour the new Dallas Cowboy stadium along with HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg and listen to a proposal from Jones to host the fight, a person close to the promotion said.
Other leading contenders for the fight are the MGM Grand hotel arena in Las Vegas and the Superdome in New Orleans, said the person, who requested anonymity because both sides agreed not to speak publicly during negotiations.
Neither fighter has formally signed for the fight, though both have agreed in principle to terms. Promoters are so confident it will happen that they are also scouting sites in New York City for a Jan. 6 press conference to formally announce the bout.
Most major fights in recent decades have been in Las Vegas, and Pacquiao and Mayweather have fought their biggest fights at the MGM Grand, which seats about 16,000 for boxing. Many in boxing still consider the MGM to have the inside track on landing the fight, but the trip by promoters to Dallas indicates that they believe Jones will make a competitive bid.
The anticipated demand for the fight brings both the Cowboy stadium and Superdome into the equation because they can seat far more people. The Dallas stadium could hold 100,000 or more for a fight, including seats on the football field.
The biggest gate in boxing history was the $18.4 million in tickets sold for Mayweather’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya, and promoters believe they can get a bid of $20 million and more from one of the three contending sites.
Jones said last week he was “still desirous of looking at what we can do here with the fight” at the new $1.2 billion stadium, which landed a Super Bowl, Final Four and Notre Dame home game before it even opened. The stadium’s massive high definition television screens would allow even those far from the ring to see the action close up.
Working against any bid by Jones is the lure of Las Vegas, where the biggest fights are usually held. Mayweather lives and trains there, while Pacquiao celebrated his win over Miguel Cotto last month by doing a concert on the city’s famed Strip.