Let the talks begin.
Formal negotiations in an effort to make a megafight between pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first part of 2010 will open Monday, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com.
Schaefer was on his way Monday morning from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to meet Top Rank’s Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, for lunch at the MGM Grand, which has hosted several Pacquiao and Mayweather fights.
“Floyd and me want to see if we can get the fight done,” said Schaefer, who, although he doesn’t have a promotional contract with Mayweather, has represented him in his past three fights and was asked to represent him in these talks. “The fact that I am flying to Las Vegas to meet with Bob shows you how serious our side is about making the fight.
“Bob and I will approach this without egos and try to get it done under fair terms. Floyd gave me his marching orders and I will see today how it goes and report back.”
A pairing of Pacquiao and Mayweather is the biggest fight boxing has to offer and could break all sorts of revenue records.
In the year’s biggest fight earlier this month, Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) beat Miguel Cotto on a technical knockout in the 12th round to win a welterweight title, his seventh title in a record seven weight divisions.
The fight sold 1.25 million units on pay-per-view and generated more than $70 million in domestic television revenue.
Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs), the former welterweight champ and pound-for-pound king before a short-lived retirement, returned on Sept. 19 to dominate lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez in a lopsided unanimous decision.
That fight generated 1.05 million buys on pay-per-view.
The all-time pay-per-view record is the 2.44 million buys generated by Mayweather’s 2007 win against Oscar De La Hoya.
“I can confirm I am meeting with Richard, but I’m not going to talk about the specifics,” Arum told ESPN.com. “It’s a meeting where we will try to make the fight. Whether it can be made or not in this meeting, I don’t know. We’ll see what we will see.”
Schaefer said he hopes he and Arum can make the fight quickly, rather than dragging the talks out for weeks.
“As part of the negotiations both Bob and I had to agree to keep all discussions confidential,” Schaefer said. “No further comments will be made until such time that we either have a deal or the negotiations fall apart.”