*As I arrived at the MGM
Grand this week there was indeed something that seemed very strange in the atmosphere here.
It actually felt like something really big was about to happen as these two gladiators were nearing their destiny in the ring. After being around this sport since 1982 when I witnessed Wilfred Benitez go against Roberto Duran at the old Sports Pavillion at Ceasars Palace, I’ve never seen the excitement, and electricity garnered around a fight like this one.
This one was being called “The Fight Of The Century” and folks, it was really being handled like that by the promoters, publicists, and everyone that was involved. And there was so much at stake here not only with the welterweight title on the line, but with all the cash that was being generated from ticket sales, merchandise, closed circuit, and not to mention pay per view, which would eventually climb through the roof of some 3 to 4 million buys, this made for a huge event.
And when normally the public was allowed to attend the weigh-in free of charge, they were selling tickets for that event for fifty bucks.
This was indeed a “Big Fight” folks, and one in which this writer characterized as a fight for pride and legacy.
Pride for the “Pacman” because his entire country of the Philippines was watching, and waiting to see their man at the end of the day be the victor in this historic bout.
You see, Manny Pacquiao has become the most beloved figure in his country, and not only there but throughout the world he has garnered so much adulation and respect for what he has accomplished.
He’s now a congressman, and throughout the Philippines and beyond, he is considered to be “The Peoples Champ”
Mayweather on the other hand, fought for his legacy as he was striving to beat the undefeated record of the great Rocky Marciano who went on to retire at 49-0 in the heavyweight division.
And as we should all know by now, Mayweather was declared the winner after sailing through twelve rounds as he not only retained his WBC, and WBA, welterweight titles, but also captured the WBO version as well.
The hundreds of thousands of people that converged on Las Vegas this past week were thoroughly enjoyed just to be there even if they didn’t get to see the fight live or on closed circuit t.v. Many people were just plain happy to be in the mist of all the excitement, and fanfare.
And of course, with all the liquor and whatever other intoxicants that were available, no event could possibly go down without any trouble. There were a few incidents that occurred right outside the MGM Grand resort in which shots were fired on Las Vegas Blvd. and several people were gaffled up by the LVPD.
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame held a pre-fight party around the swimming pool at Caesars Palace the night before the fight and quite a number of boxing legends showed up to support their efforts, including Roy Jones Jr., Thomas ” Hitman” Hearns, Cornielius Boza Edwards, James “Quick” Tillis, and legendary boxing manager Jackie Kallen. This was a fundraising event and an opportunity for the Nervada Boxing Hall of Fame to announce who the 2015 inductees would be for their scheduled induction ceremony to be held this coming August 8 at Ceasars Palace.
The “Fight Of The Century” (or at least this latest version) didn’t live up to the hype although it did generate nearly a billion bucks in revenue from ticket sales, pay per view, merchandise, advertising, and sponsors. And the City of Las Vegas and every resort that is established there raked in more money than Carter has liver pills.
It’s probably going to be a while before we see any event come around this big again. Maybe in September when the champ, Mayweather, gets in the ring for the supposed last time we’ll see something that will come close to matching this one that just went down. There’s talk that he could possibly go against Amir Khan, or Kieth Thurman. These two guys would certainly be great match ups for him, although when I spoke to Kieth Thurman the other day he had his doubts that it would be against him. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
And don’t forget, there’s still Timothy ” Desert Storm” Bradley out there who’s set to go against Jessie Vargas next month out at the StubHub in Carson, Calif., he would also be a good match for Mayweather.
And if that’s not enough to talk about, the latest news is that Manny Pacquiao is now saying that he needs surgery on his shoulder after re injuring it during the fight. It seems that this originally happened in camp while sparring but never got healed in time for the fight. This could be a minor setback for him as he’ll be out of commission for several months. And there’s possibly some political issues with the Nevada State Athletic Commission that may be forthcoming as a result too (we’ll see how that goes).
Mayweather on the other hand, is reportedly leaning towards giving him a rematch for his last contracted bout with the Showtime network whenever he heals from that injury. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
In other boxing news … I hear that middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is set to go against Willie Monroe Jr. at the fabulous Forum out in Inglewood in a couple of weeks and this one will be telecast live on HBO Championship Boxing.
And Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley is set to go against Jessie Vargas next month.
One final thought on “Money” Mayweather, I hear that it’s possible that he may be considering giving up all of his belts in order to allow other prospects to have an opportunity. Well there’s not only Bradley out there, but you have Amir Khan, Keith “One Time” Thurman, Ruslan Provodnikov, Shawn Porter, and IBF welterweight champion Kell Brooke who hails out of the UK just to name a few.
And before I forget, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is set to go against James Kirkland this weekend on another HBO Championship Boxing telecast live from Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
This is one you surely don’t want to miss.
“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 to view his works. You may also contact him at [email protected] for your comments.