Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. moved one step closer to a Dream Match on Tuesday when the pair settled their federal defamation case. The case, you'll recall, stemmed from disparaging accusations and insinuations made by Mayweather Jr. and his father regarding Pacquiao and his rise up the pound-for-pound ranks.

“The matter has been resolved,” Mayweather’s attorney, Malcon LaVergne told reporters today (via ESPN).

"Any alleged terms of the resolution would be strictly confidential. Floyd Mayweather Sr. is very happy that this lengthy case has finally come to a conclusion.”

This news comes a mere week after a judge instructed Mayweather to pay nearly $114,000 in legal fees and costs for avoiding questioning under oath from Pacquiao’s lawyers. Today, however, several outlets are reporting that both sides will bear their own attorney fees and costs. What that means for the money Mayweather was supposed to pay out remains to be seen.

Either way, though, this is huge for reasons not pertaining to who pays what. It’s huge because, in a lot ways, it signals that both Pacquiao and Mayweather are over the trivial, petty nonsense that has prevented them from coming together for a super fight over the past few years. We’ve been seeing the pair warm up to one another (well, you know, as much as you can expect them to) for several months now, and this latest gesture is just the latest indication of what direction they’re moving in.

Pacquiao will fight Juan Manuel Marquez this December. Mayweather doesn’t have any bouts scheduled, so he’ll presumably just wait until beginning to mid 2013 before his next showdown. The stars are in alignment for Pacquiao-Mayweather to kick off next year – presuming Pacquiao can get past Marquez, of course.

(Kudos ESPN)

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