By Eric Duran
In a fight that is five years in the making and arguably one of the most anticipated match-ups in the history of boxing, Floyd “Money” Mayweather (47-0, 26 KO’s) and Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KO’s) met in Los Angeles, CA to officially announce their super fight live on ESPN.
Boxing hasn’t seen a fight of this magnitude in over 8 years, when Mayweather defeated Oscar De la Hoya by split decision. Although Mayweather-Canelo eclipsed the numbers of the De La Hoya fight, it wasn’t considered as a bigger promotion.
Mayweather-Pacquiao is excepted to shatter all revenue records, upwards of too $300 million. With a red carpet rolled out, media and fans lined the streets of the Nokia Theater to catch a glimpse of the fighters to the credentialed-only press conference. The press conference had a Oscar (not De La Hoya)-like presentation and feeling. ESPN reporters were on hand to ask questions before the fighters announced the PPV extravaganza.
The press conference was the most anticipated since Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson stood across the room from each other.
Michael Buffer introduced Manny Pacquiao to the stage followed by Jimmy Lennon Jr bringing Floyd Mayweather to the stage. The fighters faced off for abnormal amount of time then usual for a face off.
Leonard Ellerbe took to the mic to announce the mega event, “I would like to acknowledge Les Moonves, Stephen Espinoza, Mark Taffet, Al Haymon, and Bob Arum, for their continued effort in finalizing things” stated Ellerbe.
Bob Arum took center stage, shaking Floyd Mayweather’s hand before speaking. “It’s rare that boxing gets world wide attention,” stated Arum. Arum went on to speak about HBO’s involvement with Pacquiao: “They have been behind Manny since day one, building his career,” stated Arum.
Stephen Espinoza was next up on the podium. “When Floyd signed his landmark deal with Showtime, he promised us the biggest fights,” stated Espinoza.
“Pacquiao was always on his list.” “We look forward to breaking more records on May 2nd,” stated Espinoza.
Bob Arum would take the podium to introduce legendary trainer, Freddie Roach. Roach stated, “I love challenges, this will be the biggest challenge of my life.” Roach finished with,”we’re going to kick his ass.”
Arum introduced Manny Pacquiao next. Pacquiao stated, “the fight is on, you’re excited. On May 2nd, we’ll do our best to make you happy.” Pacquiao went on to say, “in God, you can become something out of nothing.”
Floyd Mayweather finally took to center stage. In a candid moment, Mayweather spoke, “it’s been a long road, were here now.”
“The fight of the century, it’s about fighting the best of the best. It’s a fight the world cannot miss. I’m pushing myself to the limit, never wanted to win a fight more in my life. I was taught to be a winner,” stated Mayweather.
Jeremy Shaap reported that Mayweather seemed, “zen-like, calm and non-emotional when answering questions.” Dressed in a tailored grey suit, Maweather spoke with Schaap, saying “the moment will be here May 2nd, my job is to be the best Floyd Mayweather I can be.”
When speaking to Bernard Osuna about the importance of winning the fight, Mayweather stated, “this is just another fight to me. For Manny, a win is the world.”
Manny Pacquiao told Teddy Atlas, “I’m confident, I know his style. I was more concerned with my last few opponents.” Pacquiao stated, “I’m motivated, no distractions, I’m loving it.” Pacquiao also stated that a win is the same importance to both fighters.
Shaap reports that Pacquiao stated a loss to Mayweather will be bad for boxing.
“Beating Mayweather will be good for my fans and boxing as well as my legacy. We both need each other for our legacy.”
Teddy Atlas stated, “Pacquiao has the hand speed and foot speed to match Mayweather. Also, his punch output will give Mayweather problems.” Atlas went on to say, “this can turn into a chess-like match-up because of Mayweather’s style . . . Floyd does what he needs to do to remain undefeated. He doesn’t care about the fans’ reactions to his performance.
Mayweather is a perceived 3-1 favorite over Pacquiao amongst Las Vegas sportbooks.