Floyd Mayweather knows how to make an entrance. The boxing odds are in his favor for Saturday’s superfight with Manny Pacquiao, and so were the fans who lined up in Vegas to see their hero’s arrival.
Keep in mind when betting on boxing that you can’t make money without spending money. Floyd Mayweather just spent a whole lot of money hyping Saturday’s Fight of the Century (9:00 p.m. ET) against Manny Pacquiao. We were treated to the whole enchilada at Tuesday’s special “Grand Arrival” ceremony: The red carpet was rolled out, along with rappers, scantily-clad cheerleaders and a marching band, as 4,000 fans showed up at the MGM Grand to cheer for their hero. Don’t worry about the expense, though. Mayweather said he’d made $11 million over the previous two days alone.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao and his caravan had already arrived from Los Angeles, but they didn’t go to the Grand Garden – they went to Mandalay Bay, where Pacquiao usually stays when he’s in Las Vegas. Things we a bit more subdued at Pac-Man’s rally, but the fans still came out in droves for the underdog; Pacquiao’s boxing odds have stabilized around +190, and might not move much from there if bettors remain split in their love for the two combatants.
What it Don’t Get, I Can’t Use
Mayweather clearly knows a thing or two about the value of cold, hard cash. Money is his nickname, and the motivating factor behind everything he does in the ring. Mayweather even suggested that the five years it took to arrange the Fight of the Century was by design. “Everything I do is calculated,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference, “even keeping the world waiting for this fight, which would only have been worth about $60 million if we’d done it five years ago.”
As for the prospect of doing it again, Mayweather once again insisted he will retire after the last match on his Showtime contract, which he wants to happen in September. But he also said that fight would not be a rematch. Mayweather may end up changing his mind depending on what happens on Saturday, but for now, consider staying away from any boxing props that call for Mayweather-Pacquiao II to take place within the year.
Smell the Glove
Mayweather happily took some swipes at Pac-Man’s camp during Tuesday’s presser, claiming that Pacquiao would have earned a lot more from this fight had he been part of The Money Team instead of Top Rank. He also suggested that Pacquiao had left himself open to brain damage by being “reckless” as a fighter. But otherwise, Mayweather was respectful to Pacquiao, and saved the verbal jabs for his Top Rank handlers.
The acrimony between the two rival camps was taken up a notch over the weekend when boxing odds underdog Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said he wanted to inspect Mayweather’s gloves before the fight to make sure they pass muster. “Grant is doing his gloves,” Roach told Mlive.com, “and they’re all custom-made, and I’d like to know what he’s using – like what he’s putting in those gloves, and what materials they’re made with.”
That’s a Wrap
Does this mean that Glovegate is upon us? Probably not. Both fighters agreed to using 8-ounce gloves when they negotiated their contract, and Roach will indeed have a chance to inspect them at Friday’s weigh-in. Gloves have always been a point of contention in boxing; Mayweather wasn’t happy with the custom-made gloves Marcos Maidana was going to wear in their first fight, and threatened to pull out.
Better check those wraps while you’re at it. Pacquiao defeated Antonio Margarito by unanimous decision in 2010, one year after Margarito was caught using illegal hand wraps in his fight against “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Then Pacquiao himself was the subject of multiple (and unsupported) claims of illegal wraps, including a 2014 Internet hoax that said Pac-Man was caught using them in his victory over Timothy Bradley. Mmmmm… wraps.