1. A waiter in Hollywood, California and a snow storm in the Northeastern United States are to be credited, at least in part, for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao finally happening
Gabriel Salvador, a West Hollywood waiter, took his son regularly to the Wild Card Gym. Wild Card Gym is run by Manny Pacquiao’s trainer (Freddie Roach).
Additionally, Salvador often waited on CBS executive Leslie Moonves. The waiter and the television executive bonded over their mutual love of boxing. Salvador spoke to both Roach and Moonves about the rapport he had developed with the other and ultimately got them to meet. That meeting began serious negotiations about a 2015 matchup.
In January 2015, Manny Pacquiao served as a celebrity judge in the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant in Miami, FL. The welterweight champion planned on flying to New York after the pageant, but a snow storm left flights to New York either cancelled or delayed. A player and fan of basketball, Pacquiao decided to take in a Miami Heat home game. Facing him across the court sat his opponent to-be Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather approached the fellow fighter and the two exchanged cell phone numbers. Later, Mayweather went to Pacquiao’s hotel room and the two began to hammer out some of key arrangements for their May 2015 bout.
2. Mexican Beer Standoff
Mayweather runs with an entire different crowd than Pacquiao. Mayweather is under contract with Showtime, while Pacquiao has loyalties to HBO. Moreover, Pacquiao is promoted by Bob Arum, who once compared Mayweather to 20th century genocidal maniac Adolfo Hitler. Likewise, Tecate surrounds its brand around Manny Pacquiao when Pacman fights while Corona-clad ring girls have flanked the pugilists involved in recent Mayweather bouts.
When the two boxers announced their May 2, 2015 bout, both brands naturally wanted to capitalize on the obscene money and viewership that MayPac has been expected to generate. The decision ultimately came down to a bidding war. Tecate’s $5,600,000 bid beat out Corona’s $5,200,000 bid to win the rights to associate their brand with the mega fight.
3. Butterfinger bets a million on Manny Pacquiao.
Butterfinger is also involved the the Fight of the Century. Bart Simpson’s favorite candy bar company has kicked off a month-long international rally for fans to join them in getting in Manny’s corner and supporting the Phillipino fighter.
As part of the campaign, Butterfinger has pledged one million peanut butter cups to supporters if the Phillipino wins. For his part, Pacquiao has been insisting that he eats Butterfingers as a part of his diet and training regimen.
4. Manny’s Music
Manny Pacquiao once started for a professional basketball team. Impressive. However, one must note that he owned the team and made himself the head coach prior to earning that starting position.
In a similarly self-involving move, Pacman recently announced that he will record himself singing an original song. Naturally, this song will serve as Manny’s entrance music May 2, 2015.
5. Manny’s Mama
On April 12, 2014, Manny Pacquiao squared off against Timothy Bradley for their PPV rematch. Manny’s mother, Dionesia Dapidran-Pacquiao, attended the bout to show support for her son.
Mrs. Pacquiao was shouting and appeared to be shaking a religious medallion of some sort at Timothy Bradley. When cameras captured images of her support, social media exploded with jokes, comments, and memes.
USA Today said she “stole the show” and went on to describe her as an instant Twitter sensation. FOX Sports went so far as to suggest she had put a hex on Timothy Bradley.
Whether fans saw a hex, prayer, or applause last year, fans and ringside media alike will certainly be on the lookout for the exuberantly supportive mother.
Bill Barner is a former certified “USA Boxing” Judge, Referee, and Trainer. He is a former sparring partner for several amateur and professional fighters and currently practices criminal and immigration law in South Florida for BarnerRossen PA. He has appeared in The Ring Magazine, Bleacher Report, VOICE Magazine, Youngstown Vindicator, USABF, and is a regular contributor to East Side Boxing. Barner also provides ring announcing services for boxing and other ring sports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @BarnerBill.