NEGOTIATIONS did progress. Showtime discussed with HBO if they could do a joint broadcast, similar to what had been done for Lennox Lewis versus Mike Tyson. Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS (the company of which Showtime is a subsidiary), emerged as the key broker, bringing together the major players including Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, and Al Haymon, Floyd Mayweather’s advisor.
As the discussions slowly advanced in the background, at a basketball game Mayweather and Pacquiao publicly came face to face [above], exchanged numbers and later met. It encouraged both sides that they could finally reach a deal.