MAYWEATHER VS PACQUIAO PRESS CONFERENCE
By TOM WATT on March 12 2015
Today was a moment that for years the Boxing fraternity thought they would never see, Floyd ‘Money ‘ Mayweather and Manny ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao were on stage together to officially announce the biggest fight in sports history. Not only did the two long-term top P4P fighters share the stage, but so did their respective teams including the controversial, Bob Arum whom Mayweather had pinned as the primary reason this fight had not been made over the last couple of years.
All was forgiven and forgotten, at least for the time being, for today’s historical Press Conference in which over 600 media credentials had been handed out to reporters from not only the Boxing and Combat Sports worlds but as far as Jimmy Kimmel and E! Entertainment – this is the reach that Boxing’s richest fight brings.
CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, started proceedings and made the first in a string of thank you’s to the people that made this fight happen – making special mention of Les Moonves for his part in finally getting negotiations over the line after several attempts over the last 5 years that have all fallen by the wayside for one reason or another. Stephen Espinoza of Showtime was also quick to thank Moonves for his contributions. In fact, the entire press conference was dominated by the men on stage patting each other on the back and stroking each other’s egos with a few light-hearted jibes at each other’s camps – Arum at one point thanked the Mayweathers (Jr and Sr) for their cooperation!
Finally we got past the TV executives and promoters and got to hear from Freddie Roach – Roach is usually more than happy to take the spotlight and air his thoughts and opinions but today was not his day and the 7 time Trainer-Of-Year was short and sweet in his comments. He did however drop in the obligatory, Frieddie Roach “We’re gonna kick his ass” comment that we all expected, even after admitting this would be the toughest test of both his and his fighter’s careers – “We’re fighting the best in the World”.
In between Roach finishing and PAcquaio taking to the stand, there was time for Bob Arum to give the big sell on Pacquiao and moreso, the PHillipines, commending the nation on their ‘kindness and grace’ throughout history – from taking in holocaust refugees to making up 80% of Nevada’s nurse workforce. It was an odd passage from an ageing Arum but everyone in attendance was happy to let it go, knowing that the main reason they were there – to hear form Pacquiao and Mayweather was finally upon them.
Then, finally, it was time for ‘Pac-Man’. The ever-popular fighting Congressman from the Phillipines looked calm and relaxed as he reached the microphone and like the rest of the Press Conference, kept it relatively short compared to some of the Pressers we’ve seen lately. Nothing too controversial from Pacquiao really, he made a point that his team (Arum and Roach) had been together since 2001 and thanked them for sticking with him through the years, he thanked God for bringing him to this point and then tat he is proof that with faith in God, anyone can come from nothing such as he has done. – For anyone interested in finding more about Pacquiao’s journey to becoming the superstar he is today should watch ‘Manny’ the movie, a superb documentary that charts the career of the future Hall Of Famer.
Next, Mayweather’s trainer & coach, Mayweather Sr was introduced and stood up, only to be sat back down without being brought up to the microphone – I’m assuming as a precaution, given his history of strange, puzzling and often offensive press conferences and quotes. So it was on to the main event, the self-proclaimed ‘A side’, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
Dressed sharply in a grey suit with no tie, Mayweather approached the stand as he has done so many times before, a veteran of 24 World Title fights and no stranger to the big stage, having smashed Box Offices and PPV figures multiple times when fighting Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 and Canelo Alvarez in September 2013. This is another kettle of fish altogether though, Mayweather Vs Pacquiao is expected to double the income generated by ‘The One’ in 2013 which topped out above $150m – this fight is expected to go above the $300m mark, with PPV sales estimated around 3.5-4m buys and gate receipts upwards of $40m.
Mayweather looked his usual, confident self when addressing the media and made his thank you’s to Al Haymon, his team and even to Bob Arum for helping to make this fight happen. In keeping with the rest of the day, nothing too controversial was said by the polarising P4P King, although he did finish with a subtle jibe at his opponents record, stating that “once you lose, it’s in your head head” – reminding the World (if he needed to) that he is undefeated in his professional career so far in 47 fights and he plance on making it to number 48 in May.
Interviews afterwards were brief but gave a good insight into the mindset of the fighters, Mayweather looked as you would expect and proclaimed that he is the reason this fight happened, he asked for it and that’s why we are here. PAcquaio on the other hand was all business, “I know he has a good defence, but I can easily break that defence”
Strangely, for a fight of this magnitude, this will be the last time the pair meet until fight week. Many fans will remember the insane publicity tour taken before the Canelo Mayweather fight but the simple fact is that this fight sells itself, with tickets starting at $1,500 and no shortage of demand, there is no real need for either fighter to drain himself with a heavy media tour. So until May 2nd, the talking is done and the biggest fight in Boxing history is finally upon us.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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