FLOYD Mayweather is relishing the chance to finally go toe-to-toe with Manny Pacquiao after announcing the long-awaited fight will take place in May.
The undefeated 11-times world champion announced the bout by posting a picture of the signed contract on social media platform Shots on Friday night, adding: “I promised the fans we would get this done and we did.”
Mayweather, unbeaten after 47 professional fights, and Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, will now go head-to-head in a welterweight world championship unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2.
“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” Mayweather said in a statement.
“Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus. This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2.
“I am the best ever, TBE, and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win. Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won’t be successful. He will be number 48.”
Pacquiao echoed Mayweather’s sentiments over the bout and is excited to be part of such a massive occasion.
“I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” he said in a statement, according to Yahoo Sports.
“They have waited long enough and they deserve it. It is an honour to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”
The pair, who both beat Ricky Hatton before the Mancunian retired, have long been considered the two best fighters of their generation and boxing fans have been itching for them to get in the ring for years.
With negotiations breaking down in the past, it started to like they might never actually face each other, but hopes were rekindled last month when the pair met at a basketball match and now an agreement has finally been reached.
The explosion of joy on social media after the announcement demonstrated why this bout, which is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc, has been tipped to break pay-per-view records.
Joe Calzaghe, the former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion, said on Twitter: “Mayweather v Pacquiao is on!!!! Fight everyone wants to see! May 2nd! I can’t wait!!”
Amir Khan, who had been waiting in the wings to fight either man had the blockbuster negotiations collapsed, congratulated the pair on Twitter and wished them luck for the bout, which will be staged at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Mayweather announces he’s fighting Manny Pacquiao. Good luck guys. A fight we all been waiting for,” he tweeted.
Mayweather last fought in September, recording a unanimous decision win over Argentina’s Marcos Maidana.
Pacquiao, at 36 a year younger than his American rival, defeated Chris Algieri in November for his 57th professional victory.
The last of his five defeats came against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
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