Fight week for Mayweather-Pacquiao officially began yesterday. Here’s the skinny on what you need to know about the richest bout in boxing history.
Undefeated and 11-time world champion Floyd Mayweather, 38, will carry a 47-0 record with 26 knockouts into the ring against 36-year-old Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) of the Philippines. Pacquiao has a side job as a Congressman in the Philippines. Mayweather was ranked by Forbes as the world’s highest-paid athlete at $105 million last year.
Mayweather’s WBC welterweight and WBA super welterweight titles will be on the line, along with Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight crown. More importantly, the winner will be viewed as the best boxer of his era.
Mayweather will make his grand arrival at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacquiao will skip the hoopla and settle into the Mandalay Bay, his usual Las Vegas residence. They’ll meet face-to-face at the formal press conference set for 4 p.m. Wednesday with the weigh-in at 3 p.m. Friday. PPV telecast begins at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Expect the main event to begin around 11 p.m.
Freddie Roach and Floyd Mayweather Sr. should have their own reality series. Roach is the more decorated, recently winning his seventh Trainer of the Year Award from the BWAA. He’s a master at devising game plans and has longed for a chance to be the first to defeat Mayweather Jr. Floyd Sr. and uncle Roger Mayweather have molded Floyd Jr. into the pound-for-pound champion he is. In this case, two heads may be better than one.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena will be scaled to seat close to 17,000. It has become what Caesars Palace once was to boxing and is home turf for Mayweather, who has staged his last nine fights there. This will be Pacquiao’s fifth fight at the MGM since 2011.
Kenny Bayless has been the third man in the ring for seven of Pacquiao’s previous bouts, including his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and his comeback win over Tim Bradley in 2014. Bayless has called five Mayweather fights, including his September rematch with Marcos Maidana. Bayless, 64, is known for his catch phrase: “What I Say You Must Obey.” His strong presence is perfect for this bout.
Burt A. Clements, Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman will score the fight. Clements, 62, is from Reno, Nev., and called Mayweather’s first fight against Maidana, giving Mayweather a 117-111 edge in the majority decision. Moretti, 70, of Las Vegas, is the most accomplished of the group, having scored fights involving George Foreman, Larry Holmes, and Evander Holyfield. He likes punchers. Feldman, from Avon, Conn., has been a judge since 1992. He scored Andy Lee’s fight with Peter Quillin a draw April 11 at Barclays.
Both fighters agreed to undergo random drug testing of blood and urine by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. A positive test could result in not only canceling the fight, but a four-year ban from competition.
Mayweather Promotions is the lead promoter of the event and in charge of press conferences and other events. Pacquiao’s promotional company, Top Rank, has vastly more experience and an established infrastructure for staging big PPV events, but had to defer to Mayweather Promotions in order to make the fight happen.
PPV will cost $89 for standard definition and $99 for high definition. HBO and Showtime are partnering on the telecast with Showtime in charge of the majority of the production. Jim Lampley (HBO), Al Bernstein (Showtime) and Roy Jones (HBO) will call the bout from ringside. Max Kellerman (HBO) will cover Pacquiao’s locker room, while Jim Gray (Showtime) will handle Mayweather. James Brown and Paulie Malignaggi of Showtime will serve as the pre-fight hosts.
Inside Mayweather vs Pacquiao
Priced at a record breaking $99 on pay-per-view, the fight which takes place on May 2, is only a few days away. You can watch the first 2 episodes of Showtime’s Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, below.
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