Finally. For the last five years, boxing fans around the world have been waiting for the top two fighters of the decade to lace up the gloves and step in the ring. From blood tests to PED speculations to financial disagreements, it has seemed that this fight would only be dreamt of. But finally, on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather will try to defend his world champion title against Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
This fight is expected to be the biggest event in boxing history. Which is something to be said when the sport has seen so many great fights like the Ali-Frazier fight, the Sugar Ray Leonard-Tommy Hearns fight, and in the early days of Rocky Marciano’s dominance. A fight so big that there is no need to have a press tour for the media, because a fight of this magnitude simply sells itself.
“The Money Team,” referring to Mayweather’s team and entourage are expected to have their biggest payday yet on the night of the fight. Win or lose, Mayweather is expected to make much more than the $75 million he made in his blockbuster fight against Canelo Alvarez, which set the current record for most revenue brought in from a fight, earning the fight the nickname “The One.”
According to ESPN.com, the fight is expected to generate up to $300 million, marking the highest payday and most money generated in sporting event history.
Mayweather (47-0), will try to retain his perfect record against an eight-division world champion Pacquiao who holds a total of ten world titles and a record of 57-5-2. The two stood toe to toe for the first time on Wednesday at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles for the official fight press conference. After answering several questions with reporters about training, strategy, and money, they finally met about a foot apart from each in a rather surprisingly civil staredown.
Both fighters composed themselves in a very professional manor, sporting their best suits and withheld any fighting words towards each other. Confidence and eagerness was evident in the eye of both fighter’s with Mayweather quoting at the podium, “I never wanted to win a fight so bad in my life.”
Following the introductions of both fighters and team managers, Pacquiao spoke for about ten minutes at the microphone where he spent the majority of his time thanking and paying all of his respect to the Lord. He also thanked Mayweather productions, HBO and Showtime, but directed nothing other than a thank you to his opponent.
However, his trainer and a legend in the sport, Freddie Roach, expressed his confidence in his fighter by closing his statements with, “We are going to kick his ass.”
Mayweather followed by thanking the entities that made the production possible and encouraging viewers to watch the highly anticipated slugfest. However, he did take an indirect jab, referring to his undefeated record to get in the mind of Pacquiao.
“One thing I do know about any sport, when you lose it’s in your mind. If you lost once it’s in your mind, if you lose twice it’s in your mind. From day one I was always taught to be a winner,” said Mayweather.
It’s been speculated that if anyone is going to give Mayweather that feeling of defeat, Pacquiao is the man to do it. This win would solidify Mayweather as one of the best fighters to ever step foot in a ring, and would be the cherry on top of his undefeated career.
No fighter ever wants to leave the sport with people saying “he was good, but he didn’t fight the best.”
This is the best fighting the best. The two top pound-for-pound fighters trading jabs and trying to land the biggest haymaker of their career. A fight the world has been eager to see for years.
Finally, May 2 will be THE fight of the century.