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Latest: Time is running out for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to book a May 2 showdown, Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said Tuesday.
Amid a welter of reports in recent weeks that a deal for the much-anticipated bout was all but done, Roach warned that a decision would be needed soon if both fighters are to prepare adequately.
"We are getting really close," Roach said of reaching a cut-off for declaring a May 2 fight a reality.
"I need eight weeks. That window is getting smaller and smaller."
In fact, Roach said, he could make do with a slightly shorter training camp with Pacquiao, the eight-division world champion who said Monday in the Philippines that a deal was "near."
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao said a much-anticipated fight with unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather was "near" after he agreed to a key demand to undergo drug testing.
The eight-division world champion said negotiations were nearly complete after he dropped his opposition to drugs screening -- and even suggested a $5 million fine if he tests positive.
"(The fight) is near. The negotiations are nearly finished," Pacquiao told reporters on Monday during a break from evening sessions in parliament, where he represents one of the Southeast Asian nation's poorest provinces.
"We agreed that this fight has to happen. We are ironing out the kinks. He (Mayweather) said he wants the fight to push through."
In a brief television interview on Sunday, Mayweather denied a deal had been signed but said he was "hopeful" the fight with Pacquiao would happen.
Mayweather had also demanded strict Olympic-style drug screening that would require blood tests 30 days before the fight, instead of a few days.
Without giving specifics of the current requirements by Mayweather about the drug testing, Pacquiao said that he had agreed.
"We agreed to their demand. In fact, I suggested a $5 million fine if I test positive for drugs," he said.
What Mayweather says
Unbeaten fighter Floyd Mayweather said Sunday that neither he nor Manny Pacquiao have signed a deal for a May mega-fight, but he still hopes to get into the ring with the Filipino icon.
Mayweather, attending the NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden, said in a brief television interview during the contest that global reports about a virtually done deal for the long anticipated bout were premature.
The Sunday Telegraph in London, citing a source in the Pacquiao camp, reported "Pac-man" had signed a deal for a fight expected to be worth $250 million.
"That's not true," Mayweather said. "I haven't signed yet and he hasn't signed yet.
"It's just been speculations and rumors," Mayweather said. "But I'm hopeful we can make the fight happen."
Buzz about a potential Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on May 2 in Las Vegas has been growing all month after the Asian star's promoter Bob Arum said a deal could be looming.
Filipino southpaw Pacquiao is 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts while Mayweather is 47-0 with 26 knockouts.
The two were long-time rivals as the "best pound-for-pound" boxers of their generation, but the dream fight has never materialized to the disappointment of the boxing world.
Various issues have scuttled previous attempts to make the fight, including a falling-out between Mayweather and Arum.
Drug testing protocol issues contributed to the breakdown of talks five years ago, but after the fighters met at an NBA game in Miami in late January talks seemed to be progressing.
One issue that must be resolved is the fighters' contracts with rival telecasters.
Mayweather has a contract with Showtime while Pacquiao has a deal with HBO, so the rival telecasters must also decide how to divvy up the spoils.
The last time Showtime and HBO made such a deal was for a Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis matchup in 2002.
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