The showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao may finally happen, as several reports indicated that the two best fighters in this generation are set to meet each other in the ring as early as September, all thanks to the efforts of a royalty from the United of Arab Emirates.
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Apr 12, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Manny Pacquiao celebrates his victory over Timothy Bradley (not pictured) after their WBO World Welterweight Title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Prince Amir Shafipour, a member of the UAE Royal Family and boxing promoter, has reportedly been working with the UAE Government to stage the fight of the century between Mayweather and Pacquiao as early as late 2014.
In an interview with Gulf News, Shafipour expressed his desire to see the top two boxers in the world going head-to-head in Dubai, and he’s very much optimistic it can happen despite the ongoing rift between both fighters’ camps.
I will honestly and truthfully tell you that if anyone can convince them to fight, and to fight in Dubai, I can,” Shafipur said. “I have a lot of worldwide connections, with managers, promoters, fighters, people in the business, who speak the same language that Mayweather and Pacquiao are speaking. You have to be on the same page as them and only then will you get their attention.”
Shafipour, a former three-time kickboxing champion, said he’s now working out with an influential boxing patron in the United States to make things happen. Pacquiao is currently tied with Top-Rank Boxing, while Mayweather has his own promotions managed by confidante Leonard Ellerbe.
“I am currently working with a major boxing promoter in the USA, who is connected to both the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps, and who has the capacity to help me pull this off. It’s not a boast, it’s a commitment.”
“We have shown fight fans in Dubai, the UAE, what we are capable of doing with the Global Fighting Championships. We brought some of the best K-1 fighters to Dubai and they put on a terrific show for a million dirham bonus, in addition to the big appearance money they collected. This was just the start. This will culminate in the biggest fight ever, between Pacquiao and Mayweather.”
Mayweather is coming off a tough majority decision win over Marcos Maidana last May, while Pacquiao is holding again the WBO Welterweight crown after defeating Timothy Bradley via unanimous decision last April.
Shafipour wanted the fight to happen as early as September, but he’s also open to move the showdown into the second quarter of 2015, the time when Pacquiao and Mayweather are usually kicking off their boxing year.