*I’ve been to quite a number of “Big” fights since 1982 ( Holmes vs Cooney, Tyson vs Holyfield I and II, Bowe vs Holyfield, and even Mayweather vs De La Hoya ) and nothing that I’ve seen or experienced matches up to Mayweather vs. Pacquiao folks.
For this fight to take five years to finally happen really speaks to how humongous this event is. And I wouldn’t be surprised if all the wars that are taking place around the world would suddenly take a pause for the cause on May 2 ( that sure would be nice).
I’d love to see President Obama and every world leader sit down together and watch this fight. I know that’s wishful thinking but you never know what might happen.
As we visited both fighters camps on media day they did indeed looked good and sharp. First we went to Mayweather’s fabulous joint in Las Vegas (it’s called the Mayweather Boxing Club) which is a nice big space with two rings. The place was packed with media members from around the world and combine that with “The Money Team” that’s composed of some 100 or so people, there was hardly any room to walk in the place.
When the champ Mayweather came into the tent that was erected outside the gym for the press conference he seemed very confident and he looked trim and fit like he was ready to fight right then.
And just when we were almost at the end of the Q and A, this tremendous dust storm all of a sudden starts coming at all of us and we all had to make a break to the gym to get out the way.
Once inside, there was actor David Hasselhoff, and rapper Lil Kim joining the crowd of press members and well wishers watching the champ go through his routine of shadow boxing, hitting the mitts with his uncle Roger Mayweather, and going the rounds with the speed and punch bags.
He indeed looks like he’s in excellent shape and condition, and I got to tell you something folks, this guy works hard!
We had to get back to L.A. the next day to check out the ” Pacman” at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. And the weather was totally different with blue skies and a hot sun beaming down us as we waited for his arrival.
When we finally had a chance to talk to him he was cool, calm, and collective. He showed no sign that he had anything to worry about when it came to Mayweather.
The great Muhammad Ali has given him an endorsement and support, and when I mentioned that to him he replied, ” I’m humbled and honored to get his support.”
And in case some of you may not be aware, Ali fought “Smoking” Joe Frazier in The Phillipines back in 1975 in a bout that lasted some fourteen rounds and was called to a halt when Frazier couldn’t answer the bell in the fifteenth. The fight was called “Thrilla In Manila” and was one of the greatest fights in boxing history.
They’re calling this one between Mayweather vs Pacquiao “The Fight Of The Century”. There indeed has been several of them throughout boxing history. The bout between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries was one of the first ones. And what made it unique was the fact that during that time period there was an uproar that had developed in the public because the heavyweight title was in the hands of a black man. And Jeffries the former champion was urged to come out of retirement and bring the title back to the white race.
This was a fight that was ringed with racial tension as some 20,000 plus people were in attendance on July 4, 1910 in Reno, Nevada. what’s important to note however, is that there were only about a dozen or so black people in the arena on this hot summer day.
There are a few similarities in this fight and the one about to take place on May 2 at the MGM Grand. Both fighters are splitting the purse 60-40 with Mayweather getting some 180 million bucks, while Pacquiao is taking home 120 million out of a 300 million dollar purse.
Would you believe that back in 1910 Johnson and Jeffries split 100,000 dollars plus a percentage of the proceeds of the showing of the fight films. Both fighters got a 10 thousand dollar signing bonus ( 60 grand in those days was worth 1.6 million today). And the fight in 1910 was in Reno, Nevada while this one is taking place in Las Vegas.
As we get closer to this event one has to ponder, is it going to live up to the hype? A lot of folks at the end of the day are going to be disappointed no doubt because their man didn’t win.
But I can assure you that it will be an exciting night for all to bare witness to. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
“When the tide goes out, that’s when you’ll find out who’s been swimming naked”- Warren Buffett
Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update can also be read in the High Desert Inland Valley News, and the Pace News. He is an artist as well and you may feel free to go to his website mubarakart.com and view his works. You may also contact him at [email protected] for your comments.