SAN DIEGO, May 1, 2015 – This was the moment it all became official, and real.
An enthusiastic crowd packed the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, paying $10 and waiting several hours for the privilege of seeing boxers Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather make a 15-minute appearance.
Both came in with an entourage, waved to the crowd, stepped on the scales, briefly posed, granted one minimal interview, and left. In that short quarter hour time span, media and fans tried to gain some clues about the megafight ahead on Saturday night.
When TV networks and promoters began to realize that weigh-ins on the day prior could be turned into staged public events of their own, they couldn’t have imagined the scale of Friday’s weigh-in. It was carried live on multiple cable and premium networks around the world, and streamed online more places than we could name including here at Communities Digital News. Showtime Sports digital and social media editor Ben Dignan said on Twitter, “That was the most electric thing I’ve ever seen! And it was just the weigh-in.”
There was never a doubt the fighters would make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. Pacquiao stepped on the scale first, weighing 145 pounds. ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported Pacquiao ate a full lunch before the weigh-in, an unusual move. Mayweather stepped on the scale two minutes later, weighing one more pound at 146 pounds.
The demeanor of the fighters remained the same as it has for the past two weeks. Mayweather (47-0-0, 26 KOs) was serious, almost somber. Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) fed off the crowd’s adulation, smiling and light-hearted. During the traditional face off, Pacquiao could be seen talking to Mayweather. Later, he told HBO’s Max Kellerman he was saying thank you to Mayweather for making the fight happen. Mayweather didn’t respond.
Both fighters talked about giving the fans their money’s worth on Saturday. “I know this is a great great responsibility for me to give enjoyment to the fans,” said Pacquiao. “The fans deserve it. Tomorrow, the fans deserve a good fight. Whether you are a fan of Mayweather or Pacquiao, you deserve a good fight tomorrow night.”
Mayweather said, “”It’s an unbelievable turnout. I’m glad the fans came to support me and Manny. Now it’s up to us.”
With the hours ticking away, it’s becoming real for even the most hardened skeptics who believed this fight would never happen. The final bets are being placed, the final pay per view buys are being made which will surely make this fight the highest-grossing pay per view event in television history. We will all watch the final chapter to the drama unfold on Saturday, May 2, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Join us on Communities for our live fan chat, wherever you are, watching or not.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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