Photos by Tiffany Lam – Today at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao held the kickoff presser for what many are calling the fight of the century. Team Pacquiao arrived and hit the red carpet around 11:00am. Mayweather was scheduled to arrive at noon, but showed up a fashionable 40 minutes late. The official press conference started around 1:45pm pacific time and was aired live on ESPN SportsCenter; with HBO announcer Michael Buffer introducing Pacquiao, followed by Showtime announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr introducing Mayweather.
The presser itself went off without any real controversy or trash talk, and both camps spoke well of each other. Leonard Ellerbe emceed the event, opening with a few remarks and then introducing Top Rank’s Bob Arum. Arum seemed very jovial, cracking a few jokes with Floyd and then introducing trainer Freddie Roach to the podium. Roach threw in the only real jab of the night, saying “we are fighting the best fighter in the world, and we gonna kick his ass.” Next up was Pacman and he was all business, thanking both camps and networks for making the fight finally happen. A devout Christian, Pacquiao gave all the glory to God. “The most important thing is that the name of the lord be glorified,” he said, “God raised someone from nothing into something, that’s me.”
Now it was time for Floyd’s side, and although Ellerbe mentioned Floyd Senior, he did not invite him to the podium to speak. Instead it was straight to Floyd Junior, who came off very calculated in his demeanor. Although he was respectful of his opponent, he started the psychological games. “One thing I do know about any sport, when you lose, it’s in your mind“, he said, “you lost once, it’s in your mind. You lost twice; it’s in your mind. From day one, I was always taught to be a winner.” No doubt the pound for pound champ was trying to get into Pacquiao’s head, hinting at his losses, and the fact that he is yet to lose during his illustrious boxing career.
It was a one of a kind, unprecedented affair today in Los Angeles. A crowd of fans gathered outside the theater just to get a peek at the fighters as they made their exit. ESPN reporters Bernardo Osuna, Jeremy Schaap and others broke down the presser and the upcoming fight on SportsCenter. Teddy Atlas spent a few moments speaking with Mayweather. The hype was unreal. If the media response to the festivities today were any indication of what’s to come on fight night, expect every financial record to be demolished May 2nd.
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