Mark it down, fellas (and ladies, if there are any): December 6. Vegas. Oscar de la Hoya. Manny Pacquiao.
Here we go.
ESPN is reporting that sources have the fight set and ready to go:
Oscar De La Hoya, boxing's biggest star, will announce Thursday that he will meet pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 6, two sources close to the fight told ESPN.com.
Top Rank's Bob Arum, whose company promotes Pacquiao, would not confirm a deal was in place for what would be the year's biggest fight, but he did tell ESPN.com that De La Hoya would host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday to announce his opponent.
"We'll know who is he is fighting tomorrow," Arum said Wednesday from Youngstown, Ohio, where he was attending a promotional event for the Kelly Pavlik-Bernard Hopkins fight that he is co-promoting with De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. "I made a commitment that I wouldn't say anything and that tomorrow there would be an announcement. I'm not allowed to make any comments. Everything will be clear on Thursday."
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer would not confirm the deal, either, but sounded positive when asked about it.
"Last week the deal was 90 percent dead, but we were able to revive it. The fact that it has been so quiet is a good sign," Schaefer said from Mexico, where he was traveling on business with De La Hoya. "It's been a lot of back and forth and skillful negotiating and to try to get each side to soften their stance. If the fight was Arum vs. Schaefer, it would have been made awhile ago."
No more talk. No more speculation. Oscar-Manny is on, like it or not.
The purse split hasn't been revealed, but it wouldn't surprise me if they met halfway between their differences and settled on a 65-35 split in Oscar's favor. The weight will be 147 pounds and the fight will be contested with eight-ounce gloves, both of which were areas where Pacquiao would not budge.
This is going to be a huge fight, no matter what I think of it or anyone else thinks of it. I still don't love it as a fight and I think Oscar's going to be too big for Manny. But it's money in the bank, and Manny deserves that sort of payday. I can't dislike the fact that he's going to be paid handsomely for this fight.
With the official announcement coming tomorrow, this clears it all up. And I do much prefer Oscar-Manny as a spectacle to Oscar-Mora as a fight that I just don't give a damn about.
Let the 24/7 production begin.