IN the end, it could be the unavailability of a flight out of Miami which will pave the way for the richest fight in boxing history to finally happen.
As recalled by top Manny Pacquiao adviser Michael Konz, the 36-year-old Filipino boxing superstar’s appearance in a Miami Heat game wasn’t premeditated as he was supposed to get out of Florida on the way to LA and back to Manila after acting as one of the judges in the Ms. Universe pageant.
But Konz said he couldn’t book two business-class airline tickets for Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee, prompting the eight-time world division champion - a known basketball fanatic - to while the night away by watching the Heat’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks instead.
And it so happened rival Floyd Mayweather Jr., who frequents Heat games, was also at the American Airlines Arena and sat just across from where Pacquiao was seated.
One thing led to another, and suddenly, the mega-fight that has been five years in the making appears to be on the verge of finally becoming a reality.
“Like Manny said, ‘It’s God’s will,’” said Koncz in an interview with the LA Times. “God put us together. It’s important, tremendous, for boxing for this to happen. This is the Super Bowl of boxing. We just showed up, and all these things transpired.”
As the two boxing icons talked briefly at ringside, Mayweather confronted Pacquiao about the misinformation circling around about contracts already signed by the Filipino and his promoter Bob Arum.
But the two eventually exchanged cellphone numbers that led to a post-game meeting between the boxing champions at the hotel where the Pacquiao couple was staying.
Koncz describes the 37-year-old Mayweather (47-0) as "sincere."
“Everyone left on good terms,” he said of the meeting inside Pacquiao’s suite. “Floyd’s very personable, very cordial.”
Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza also described the meeting as positive, but is not about to get ahead of himelf and say with certainty that the fight will finally take place on May 2.
“Floyd pledged to get it done and get everyone on the same page,” said the executive of Showtime, the network which airs Mayweather’s fights. “It was, ‘Hey, there’s still some open issues, let’s get on the same page.’ Floyd’s in the loop on the bigger issues.
“They had a friendly, positive discussion. It remains to be seen whether it was productive.”
Pacquiao is now back in LA.