The most shocking statement made on Wednesday afternoon at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles in the only press conference for Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao was at the end when it was announced the tickets for the fight to be held at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas was from $1500 to $7500.
Yes, you read it right. A nose bleed ticket starts at a whopping $1500. That is if you can get them. It was said the ticket will go on sale next week.
The anticipation could be felt in the air for the mega fight which has taken five years in the making. The presser, closed to the public but with over six hundred media types in attendance, began with each man introduced with their own respective announcer, Michael Buffer for HBO and Pacquiao while Jimmy Lennon Jr took care of it for Mayweather Jr Showtime. Both men met in on center stage for the first time in their careers and it was only the second time there were in the same vicinity. The first time was at that now legendary Miami Heat game weeks ago.
At first glance, Mayweather Jr stands about an inch and a half taller but has the advantage on sheer mas as he looks slightly bigger across the shoulders. As the camera flashes went off, as usual Manny Pacquiao was all smiles while Mayweather Jr was all business never cracking a smile. The first one to take the podium and the microphone attached to it was none other than Leonard Ellerbe. A long time employee of Mayweather Jr’s, from corner man to CEO of his promotional company, last time we had seen or heard from him was when Mayweather Jr stated he might be on the oust after some issues last September with the rematch with Marcos Maidana. Nonetheless, there he was in all his Mayweather Jr boosting persona.
Many bigwigs put in their two cents about the mega fight, from the head of the MGM to Ken Hershman, head of HBO Sports and his counterpart at Showtime, Stephen Espinoza. None was more of a showman than legendary promoter Bob Arum. Considered the reason why the fight hadn’t happened for five years, at least from the Mayweather Jr side, here he was all smiles, even going as far as to shake Mayweather Jr’s hand and taking a quick jab at Espinoza stating that everybody has their opinion in reference to the Showtime head honcho naming Mayweather Jr the most talked about sports figure of our time.
The only firework of the afternoon came from Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach who in a very quick turn at the microphone stated that this was the biggest challenge of his career as a trainer and that Pacquiao would kick Mayweather Jr’s ass while wishing luck to the considered pound for pound best in the world.
Pacquiao was his usual religious and subdued self, thanking God as well as his team which he reminded everybody present has been together since 2001. Mayweather Jr was equally as gracious, thanking everybody for making the fight possible including Al Haymon. He dismissed the five years in what swoop saying that fights are about timing and this one came at the exact right time. He closed with stating that there wasn’t a fight he wanted to win more and believed that Pacquiao felt the same.
Very un-Mayweather like.
Until an interview after the actual presser when he stated that he was the sole catalyst for making the fight. When asked who he wanted to fight in May, he said Pacquiao, and that is why the fight was made.