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Espinoza: Mayweather Focused On Making Pacquiao Fight

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather is “laser-focused” on putting together a May 2 fight with Manny Pacquiao as negotiations proceed, Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza said Saturday. 

Espinoza confirmed to Multichannel News that there are parts that have been completed for a May 2  Mayweather-Pacquiao mega pay-per-view fight, but a final agreement has yet to be reached.

“Talks are continuing and we’ve made meaningful progress, but we still have a significant distance to cover on a number of open points,” he said. “Until the whole thing is done, nothing’s done.”

Espinoza would not provide specifics on the talks. Showtime, which has two more fights on its six-fight TV deal with Mayweather, and HBO -- which has Pacquiao under contract -- are in negotiations to co-distribute the event via PPV.

 The last time the two rival pay TV services teamed to distribute a PPV fight was the 2002 Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight.

Earlier this week Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said the Filipino fighter has agreed to terms to the fight, but added the undefeated Mayweather had not signed off on the deal. 

But Espinoza said that Mayweather is not hesitant to fight Pacquiao, but his strategy has been to keep as much of the negotiations out of the press as possible.

“Some has perceived that as lack of interest, but it’s the opposite – he’s so focused on getting it done that he doesn’t want to say anything publically that would complicate the negotiations,” Espinoza said. “He wants it as much as he’s ever had for any fight, and our marching orders are to do our best to get it done as fast as possible.”

Espinoza, speaking from Las Vegas in support of tonight’s Showtime telecast of the Bermane Stiverne-Deontay Wilder heavyweight championship fight, added that Mayweather will fight on May 2 against Pacquiao or another opponent.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.