Floyd Mayweather will travel to Saudi Arabia to open negotiations for a Manny Pacquiao rematch.
Despite the 42-year-old American repeatedly denying he has any interest in ending his two-year retirement to face Pacquiao again, it appears the overtures from the oil rich Middle East sovereign state have worn him down.
Mayweather scored a comprehensive 12-round points victory over Pacquiao in Las Vegas four years ago and has fought just twice since – a unanimous decision victory over former welterweight titleholder Andre Berto in 2015 and a 10th round stoppage victory over former UFC star Conor McGregor two years later.
“I want to say thank you, it’s an honour to come to Saudi Arabia to sit down with you guys to talk about the Mayweather v Pacquiao rematch,” Mayweather posted on social media.
“Saudi Arabia, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, I’m on my way.”
Pacquiao, 40, has won three fights on the trot since dropping a close decision to Australian Jeff Horn two years ago. In his most recent outing in Las Vegas last month the Filipino superstar lifted the WBA welterweight championship from previously undefeated American Keith Thurman by majority decision.
All-time great Sugar Ray Leonard recently called on Mayweather to end his retirement and grant Pacquiao a rematch.
“Put it this way, it should be done. People will watch it,” Leonard told TMZ.
“It’s two guys in their 40s. When I was 40, I came back, I don’t know who it was against, but you had a different stage in your life, spiritually, physically, mentally.
“He (Pacquiao) looked phenomenal (in his last fight).”
Saudi Arabia has made a strategic push to hold more boxing events after hosting the World Boxing Super Series final between George Groves and Callum Smith last year.
Amir Khan recently stopped Billy Dib in the desert state and the mooted rematch between heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr is expected to take place there in December.
The first Mayweather versus Pacquiao bout generated more than $500 million in revenue.