The weigh in for the “Fight Of The Century” was never going to be an ordinary affair. Up to an hour before the fighters emerged the internet streams had started for the truly dedicated worldwide to watch a bizarre hip-hop, ad-fuelled build up that had the Mayweather stamp all over it.
We all know who is calling the shots in this fight. Yet the Network split was the crucial factor in this being one of history’s modern mega fight’s and the division was managed in the professional manner it has been in the past for an such occasion.
Michael Buffer’s silky tones came on the mic to ignite the waiting crowd to the first undercard fight, yet it emerged the officials were initially all tied up with “other fighters”
The expectant mob, and the Top Rank represented Vasyl Lomachenko’s opponent – Gamalier Rodriguez – who was announced by Buffer for the HBO side of the show – could damn well wait.
Personally, had I been in attendance in Vegas, the sound of AC/DC’s “Back In Black” (the first and only hint of any rock n roll) would have cheered me during the delay. It was a welcome change from the constant commercial hip-hop that warmed up the proceedings and ruined the occasion – at least musically!!
After the Puerto Rican fighter and world amateur standout, WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko weighed in for only the Ukrainian’s 5th pro fight, we were made to wait again. Both fighters came in just fine.
Following that, in honour of the dual network split – as it will be tomorrow night as each man is announced – Showtime stalwart Jimmy Lennon Jr took over ceremonial duties to announce the “MT” under card scrap between WBC super bantamweight champ, and fellow Al Haymon charge, Leo Santa Cruz and unheralded challenger Jose Cayetano.
Both also weighed in without issue.
But this show isn’t about the undercard or any of the fights, that televised or not, are on it.
It was Michael Buffer’s legendary voice announcing Manny Pacquiao that got the waiting crowd REALLY going. The hugely popular Pacquiao took the stage and then waited, as he will tomorrow – and for a lot longer – for Showtime’s Jimmy Lennon Jr to announce Mayweather.
Another hip-hop track welcomed in the former “Pretty Boy” who of course revelled in the announcement of his current “Money” moniker.
Pacquiao took to the scales to screaming chants of “MANNY, MANNY” and came in at 145lb.
Mayweather, who stepped on to audible boo’s among the deafening crowd came in at 146, a lb under the welterweight limit.
The square off was like a bomb going off and the explosion of the crowd, who were largely pro-Pacquiao did not seem to unsettle Mayweather who looked cool as ice.
Showtime’s Jim Gray caught up with Floyd after hand, who said;
“My focus is on what we gotta do tomorrow. My plan is to listen to this man right here (points to his father)- coz without him I wouldn’t be no one.”
“I’m ready to fight. Who ever watching, buy a PPV”
Max Kellerman then spoke to Pacquiao who said;
“I think the fight must happen because the fans deserve it, the fans deserve this fight.”
Of the size difference, that is clearly visible, Manny said.
“I fight bigger guys Margarito, De La Hoya. It doesn’t matter to me.”
“The Lord is always with me he will deliver him (Mayweather) into my hands.”
Everything is said and done.
Tomorrow night ladies and gentlemen we find out.
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