T he biggest daMayweather-punchesy in boxing is here, as the fight of the century goes down tonight in Las Vegas (3am on Sunday in Nigeria). Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight is about to happen, with Mayweather walking away with a record sum of $120m as against the Filipino’s share of $80m. It is the welterweight unification title fight that the world has been waiting for in about five and half years.
After all the hypes, two questions need answers: 1) What can we expect from tonight? 2) How are you going to fill the time/stay awake before the fight starts at 3am on Sunday? Both boxers are getting ready to hit the stage, as the main event is about to begin, with Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter saying the “interest in this fight is good for the sport as a whole”.
Pacquiao has told the media that “the killer instinct is back. I feel so ready and I have that feeling again that I had 10 years ago. I’m the one who really wanted this fight … more than him”. But Mayweather, fired back saying that the “fight is more about me and I will prove that I will remain the best ever even after May2” The main stage, the MGN Grand, is waiting for the arrival of the main men, to begin the rumble that promises to be an explosive round of unprecedented boxing slug-fest.
Pacquiao has been talking of how he came from “sleeping in the streets” to where he is now, which is “beyond his imagination”. But Mayweather has had his share of life on the streets and has stayed rooted to the cause ever since making big bucks from boxing. But this is not just any fight, it’s the fight of the century, taking place in Las Vegas, noted for its big casinos, where the rich gather to have fun. Millions have descended on the city for one night of fight fun and gambling by the way.Pacquiao-charges
Las Vegas, in the words of Tom Wolfe’s 1964 essay on the place, takes a basic bombardment of the senses and “magnifies it, foliates it, embellishes it into an institution”. It is forever redrawing the very boundaries of kitsch that it helped to set. You are starting to see, perhaps, why a man like Floyd Mayweather fits right in. Mayweather’s fight with Pacquiao will gross an estimated £388 million, more money than even the most minted casinos could make in three months.
The MGM Grand, a colossal 30-storey structure sealed on every side by tinted blue windows to heighten the Aladdin’s Cave effect has hosted big fights in the past but none comes near to the one happening tonight in terms of money and hype. Mayweather knows this place like the back of his hand as it is just about a five-mile commute from his super-sized man cave in Las Vegas’ eastern suburbs.
While arriving the venue on Wednesday for a conference, Mayweather, resplendent, head to toe, in his ‘The Money Team’ paraphernalia, drove into the arena in a black Mercedes van. He then moved through the adoring masses like a man expecting flowers to be scattered at his feet. saying “I make a lot of money, but I want to give back to the American people,” he declared, pompously.
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