Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao: Almost a Done Deal for March 13

I'd resisted posting about this earlier because I didn't want to jump the gun and because every other website with even a remote connection to sports has been (and will continue to be) talking about this nonstop. But it looks like we will see the two men who have risen to be the top pound-for-pound boxers and the biggest draws in the sport do battle early in 2010.

As reported by the AP and Fox Sports, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have agreed on most of the important details to face each other. Those include the date (March 13), the weight (147 pounds, the welterweight limit) and, perhaps most importantly, the purse split (50/50).

Still to be decided: the site and the weight of the gloves to be used. Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said in the Fox piece that Manny prefers eight-ounce gloves - the better to knock you out with, don't you know - while Money's camp would like 10-ounce gloves.

Fox Sports also cited an unnamed source claiming that Las Vegas and Cowboys Stadium near Dallas are the leading choices to host the fight. Earlier reports had mentioned Yankees Stadium and the Superdome in New Orleans as other possibilities, but Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum had already dismissed the former because of unfavorable tax conditions, and it seems to be mostly wishful thinking on the part of the latter.

Many news outlets have discussed the possible implications of Manny returning to the ring relatively quickly after his battle with Miguel Cotto on November 14. But let's be honest: Pacquiao didn't exactly suffer a serious beating in that fight, and though he's more commonly gone five or six months between fights over the past few years, he's certainly capable of performing at a high level with less time off.

Most notably, Pacquiao returned to action after his 12-round March 2008 rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez (a fight in which he took his fair share of flush shots) in less than four months to face David Diaz. Despite moving up in weight, he had little trouble with Diaz, stopping him in nine rounds.

There are no such worries for Mayweather, as it will be nearly six months after his own fight with JMM when he steps in against Pac Man. And since he was enjoying his brief retirement for nearly two years before that, he should be well rested come March.

I have to admit I'm surprised that the fight came together so quickly, but it's a pleasant surprise as it will shine the spotlight on boxing in a way that hasn't happened in years. Just remember that there are other good fights (Shane Mosley-Andre Berto in January, for one) between now and Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Posted by The Franchise

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