HBO exec: Superfight has 'sell-by date'

NEW YORK -- The new president of HBO Sports says the long-desired Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather bout has a "sell-by date" of later this year or early next year.

Ken Hershman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that after then, it becomes "less and less relevant."

Mayweather and Pacquiao are boxing's top two stars, and they have circled each other warily for more than two years. Both have said they're eager to fight, yet they still haven't reached a deal for what's likely to be the most lucrative bout in boxing history.

"I would love the fight to happen, obviously," Hershman told ESPN.com's Dan Rafael on Tuesday. "It would be a tremendous fight and event. That being said, I understand each side's position and view of the world, and they are not coming together just yet. We have a lot of great fights we could make with Floyd and Manny and we hope to be involved in every one. They are key assets to this network. We will be as supportive as we can to be as successful as possible with whichever fights they are in."

Hershman says if the two sides asked HBO to mediate, he'd be happy to, but doesn't expect that request. Otherwise, he says the network will stay out of the discussions.

"I don't think the sport needs to be saved or believe all that hyperbole," Hershman told The AP.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.