The beginnings of one of the biggest fights many thought would never happen might one day trace its roots back to Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. With heavy overtones of a staged public appearance, boxers Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. attended the Heat’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks and briefly spoke on the court at halftime. Pacquiao said it was the first time the boxers have ever spoken to each other in person.
The big question: Will there ever be a fight? “Yeah, I believe so,” Pacquiao said. Mayweather said last month that he’s ready to make the fight happen May 2. The boxers were seated almost directly opposite of each other in courtside seats during the game. At halftime, Mayweather walked across the court to Pacquiao and engaged in a conversation.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
There were theatrics, of course, but no trash talking. “He gave his number to me and then said we would communicate with each other,” Pacquiao said. In other words, Pacquiao and Mayweather might be working out a deal between themselves to finally fight each other, or at least they wanted to plant that story in case anything materializes. The two fighters both have dominated the boxing world for more than a decade, but they famously have never met in the ring despite repeated public outcry for a fight.
Pacquiao said he wasn’t surprised that Mayweather approached him, adding that he received a one-minute notice before the meeting occurred. Why were both fighters at the Heat game? Pacquiao said he was in Miami and planning to fly out on Tuesday but had travel problems and remained in the city.
Pacquiao is friends with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, and Mayweather has attended Heat games for several years.