Future first ballot Hall of Famers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao at their Los Angeles press conference on March 11.  (Photo by Dr. Ed de la Vega)


Special to the Filipino Reporter

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao appeared in designer suits and both looked like two corporate CEO’s that are out to announce a business merger at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles last Wednesday afternoon.

Both are meeting for the first time after their eventful meeting at a Miami Heat game in late January which was the precursor for the biggest boxing fight of the decade and possibly the highest grossing boxing fight in the history of the sport.

The undefeated Mayweather and the Filipino superstar Pacquiao officially launched their much-hyped about May 2 mega-fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in the first and only press event before Fight Week.

Both also sized up each other in their face ever “Face-Off” after an animated introduction from their network’s ace fight announcers, Michael Buffer of HBO introduced Pacquiao, while Jimmy Lennon Jr. of Showtime brought out Mayweather to the more than 500 media entities that showed up for the press conference.

“I believe that this is what you were waiting for since five years ago. The fight is on and I know that you are very excited and both of us will undergo hard training for this fight. We will do our best on May 2 to make you happy,” Pacquiao stated on the dais.

Pacquiao, a devoted Christian, then turned spiritual stating that the most important thing is to “let people know that there is a God that can raise someone from nothing into something.”

“And that is me,” as he pointed to himself, “That is me. I came from nothing into something. I owe everything to God,” stressed the mild-mannered boxer and congressman.

Mayweather was also in his best behavior during the press conference.

He was devoid of his trash-talking, flamboyant persona that he has been branded with in his previous fights.

He was accommodating to the huge throng of media men who wanted to interview him.

“It’s been a long road, but we are here now,” expressed Mayweather.

“May 2, The Fight of the Century, it is all about the best fighting the best. And Pacquiao is one of the best fighters of this era.”

The two best fighters of the welterweight division will lay all their titles on the line — Mayweather has two, Pacquiao owns one — in a winner-take-all match that has no guarantee of a rematch in a potential record-breaking hit in both ticket and Pay-Per-View sales.

“This is the fight that the world can’t miss. This is an unbelievable matchup, action-packed fight. I’m at the gym working right now, dedicating myself to the sport, pushing myself to the limit because I never wanted to win a fight so bad in my life,” declared Mayweather who will once again train under his father Floyd Mayweather Sr.

Pacquiao is on his second week of training at his longtime trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles after starting light training in Manila on the same day the fight was announced in late February.

“I think we are the longest team in boxing history, as a coach and boxer,” Pacquiao described of his partnership with Roach and other members of Team Pacquiao who has been in his corner since 2001, his first year fighting in America.

Mayweather and Pacquiao showed exemplary style and class during their meeting with the press as they sell their business proposition and offering to the world.

The fighting can wait.

For now, it’s all about the business of selling “The Fight of The Century.”


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