The welterweights are considered to be the two greatest fighters of their generation, but despite competing around the same division for a number of years they have never faced off in the ring.
Yet there have been statements from both camps in recent months to suggest that WBC and WBA champion Mayweather, 37, and WBO belt-holder Pacquiao, 36, will square off later this year.
They met in person in Miami late on Tuesday night, where both watched the Heat’s NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks, and a widely-circulated video shows the pair exchanging a brief conversation before shaking hands and walking away.
It is not known whether the incident was staged or purely a coincidence.
Former British boxer Ricky Hatton, who was knocked out by both fighters during his career, hopes a deal can be struck to put on what would be the most lucrative fight in boxing. “I hope they can, to be perfectly honest as a boxing fan,” he said on Sky Sports.
“I’d rather have seen it a few years ago round the era when they were both absolutely red hot. But I still think it’s the best fight in boxing, it’s absolutely massive. It would be a mega, mega fight.”
Hatton would give the edge to Mayweather, even though he thinks the unbeaten American showed signs of weakness in his two fights against Marcos Maidana last year, while Pacquiao has seemed rejuvenated since a knockout defeat to long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
“I think Mayweather has not shown good form in his last two fights against Maidana. After his knockout from Marquez, he (Pacquiao) seems to be getting a little bit better. I’d still probably give Floyd the edge but not as much as I did not so long ago.”