SAN DIEGO, April 25, 2015 – No one understands the pressure of being under the glare of the world spotlight being faced by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao like a man who’s been in their shoes. It’s an exclusive club, and one of its most prominent members is American heavyweight champion George Foreman.
In the HBO special called “Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao: The Legends Speak,” which debuts on Saturday night following World Championship Boxing, Foreman participates in a panel discussion hosted by Max Kellerman along with former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and former middleweight and light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins. Both Foreman and Lewis are enshrined in the Hall of Fame and Hopkins is enroute. All three understand what it’s like to be Floyd or Manny leading up to May 2.
In an interview earlier this week with Ringside Seat, Foreman predicted Pacquiao would win over Mayweather. “Pacquiao has a little better (chance) because he’s already picked as the underdog. There’s not a whole lot of pressure on him but once you ever get into a boxing match of this nature and you’ve never lost before, you wake up in the morning, your heart is beating, you go to bed with a fast beat. You’re nervous. There’s so much pressure on Mayweather. More pressure probably than any athlete around right now because he’s undefeated so to speak,” said Foreman.
Foreman told me a loss by Mayweather would be devastating at this point in his career. “Once you’re – I was in that position when I lost to Muhammad Ali (in Zaire in 1974). It wasn’t like I lost the title. You lose your perspective of who you are as a human being. This could really knock him out,” observer Foreman. “That’s why I don’t think there can easily be a rematch if Mayweather loses, because you have to go out into the mountains somewhere, the hills somewhere, to try to find himself all over again. This could devastate him as a boxer, not as a man, but as a boxer, this could devastate him, a loss.”
Foreman says Pacquiao must seize his advantage as the underdog of the fight and make the most of it. “Here we are, a great fighter like he is, and underdog. All he has to do is be himself and win that fight through every round, one after another, and if he doesn’t, then he’s going to put on a good show because that’s all he knows. So he wins no matter what.”
Once among the most feared men in boxing, the genuinely affable Foreman said he enjoyed being part of the special preview show and sharing his perspective. “It’s really good and I was really happy to be part of the panel to kind of describe it, because it brought back old memories I thought I had put to rest, especially with the big fight of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire, and what it felt like to be the one guy who knows what it’s all about to be undefeated and fight for the championship of the world for a guy who has been defeated more than once. I had that perspective and know what it feels not only to be in that position but to be knocked off that pedestal,” said Foreman.
Foreman predicted fans will see a fight that actually lives up to the sky high expectations. “I think for those who really are pure, the laws of boxing, it’s going to be a fantastic, amazing boxing match. One that is going to live up to all the hype. It really will,“ said Foreman.
Foreman also offered a little closing advice for fans. “Guys, make sure you have a lot of fun. Remember boxing is in its heyday all over again. I’m happy. I’m just so happy for boxing,” said Foreman.
In addition to the panel featuring Foreman, Lewis and Hopkins, HBO Boxing commentators Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman will interview the five elite boxers who have faced both Mayweather and Pacquiao: Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotton, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez.
The special also airs on April 26, 12:15 p.m.; April 27, 10:45 p.m.; April 28, 1:45 a.m.; and April 29 at 12 noon and 5:30 p.m. It has additional airings on HBO2.
The 147-pound unification championship showdown between Mayweather and Pacquiao takes place at the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 2. The live pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT and will be co-produced and co-distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and Showtime PPV®. Communitied Digital News will host a live chat for you to follow and comment on all the action.
Listen to the panel interview to promote the HBO special called “Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao: The Legends Speak,” which debuts on Saturday night following World Championship Boxing. The panel is hosted by Max Kellerman along with former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and former middleweight and light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins.
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. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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