• Hall of Famer 'Big' George Foreman picks Pacquiao to edge Mayweather

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago

    Former heavyweight champion "Big" George Foreman is no stranger to big fights. He lost his heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali in 1974 in a bout which became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle." That fight marked the invention of the term, "Rope-a-Dope," in which Ali laid back on the ropes and allowed Foreman to punch himself out.

    Few people know that Foreman also competed in the first pay-per-view bout in history. He was part of a staggering 1.5 million PPV buys for a 1991 bout with Evander Holyfield. That came at a time when the universe for pay-per-view was just 15 million, so it had a penetration of 10 percent. If the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout on May 2 in Las Vegas does a 10 percent penetration, it would sell nearly 10 million.

    On a conference call to promote an HBO documentary show, "Mayweather-Pacquiao: Legends Speak", Foreman shared his thoughts about the significance of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, his reaction to Mayweather's claim that he's the greatest boxer of all time and explained why he is picking Pacquiao to win.

    Foreman didn't appear to agree, but he didn't really dispute it much.


  • Freddie Roach scoffs at notion that Manny Pacquiao is uptight or nervous

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago

    One of the reasons why attorneys usually sweat out a jury's decision is because two people can frequently see the same set of facts in vastly different ways.

    And that's what is happening, in a sense, during the buildup to the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

    Pacquiao has made a number of changes to his normal routine as he prepares to face Mayweather, the man widely regarded as the top fighter in the world.

    Pacquiao has watched a great deal of video of Mayweather, which he often doesn't do. He shut off media access for the last month when he's normally very open and accessible. And he's made all of his sparring sessions off-limits to everyone but to those approved by his trainer, Freddie Roach.

    In addition, Pacquiao has decided not to participate in the customary "grand arrival" ceremony on Tuesday at the MGM Grand as he has typically done.

    "It's the first thing we're doing on Fight Week that's for the fans and they're skipping it," Ellerbe said.

  • No 'grand arrival' for Manny Pacquiao, as promoter says he's feeling the heat

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago

    Major fights have kicked off the last few years in Las Vegas with what has become known as "The Grand Arrivals." An elaborate set-up is constructed in the lobby of the MGM Grand.

    The public and media are invited, there is festive music playing and, occasionally, an extremely and frequently obnoxious DJ shouting incessantly. It's become as much a part of the fight week ceremonies as the nose-to-nose staredown at the weigh-in.

    It's not going to be quite the same for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout, which will be May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden. Mayweather will do his grand arrival at the MGM as usual on Tuesday, though the final schedule hasn't been released. But Top Rank CEO Bob Arum chose not to have Pacquiao participate.

    So Pacquiao will quietly bus into Las Vegas from his Los Angeles-based training camp on Monday and will stay at Mandalay Bay. On Tuesday, instead of an arrival ceremony, Arum said he'll have Pacquiao meet the media in a ballroom in the bowels of the casino, away from the screaming fans.

    "Manny doesn't need all the chaos that ensues with a grand arrival," Arum said.

  • Could Floyd Mayweather reach $1 billion in career ring earnings? Possibly

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago

    LAS VEGAS -- The amount of money that is being generated by the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 is staggering. The fight will likely gross in excess of $400 million and Mayweather's purse alone could hit $200 million.

    As amazing as it sounds, it's nothing when one considers this:

    There is a chance, and a pretty good chance at that, that by the time Mayweather retires, he'll wind up with $1 billion in career earnings. Yes, that's billion with a B.

    Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said Mayweather is "already more than halfway there." If he hits $200 million for the Pacquiao fight, it would be hard to imagine that he couldn't make it.

    Mayweather is 47-0 and has two more fights on his contract. According to Forbes, Mayweather made $224 million from 2012 through 2014. Adding $200 million from the Pacquiao fight to that is $424 million, and that counts only six fights (Miguel Cotto in 2012, Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez in 2013, Marcos Maidana twice in 2014 and Pacquiao on May 2).

    It's mind-boggling to think that any athlete could make that kind of money, particularly in a sport like boxing.



  • Mayweather-Pacquiao prop bets have just about everything covered

    Joe Garza at Boxing 2 days ago

    The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao megafight is right around the corner – May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, to be exact – and online sportsbook Bovada wasn’t concerned that the fight was in an odd limbo as of Wednesday. But with the fight officially a go and tickets going on sale Thursday, it's a time to rejoice for all – well, except for the common fan who hopes to buy a ticket.

    Regardless, Bovada has released its gambling odds for the bout and a whole mess of fun prop bets, not that we would ever encourage such an endeavor.

    Mayweather is a minus-210 favorite, while Pacquiao is holding steady at plus-170. The fight is favored to go the distance – minus-300 – with Mayweather a 5/7 favorite to win by decision or technical decision.

    Here are some more bets Bovada is offering:

    ADDITIONAL PROPS Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr Punches Landed % Over/Under 40½

    Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao Punches Landed % Over/Under 27½

    First thrown punch will be? Left Hand Punch -130 (10/13) Right Hand Punch EVEN (1/1)

  • Deal reached, tickets for Mayweather-Pacquiao bout on sale Thursday

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 days ago

    Leslie Moonves has done it again.

    The president and CEO of CBS Corporation, whose involvement was credited with helping Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao reach a dealto fight each other, saved the day a second time.

    A dispute between Top Rank, Mayweather Promotions and the MGM Grand was putting the fight at risk. But a late morning conference call resolved all outstanding issues, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday.

    Arum said he and Top Rank president Todd duBoef met with Moonves and Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and that nothing now stands in the way of the fight going forward.

    "We resolved all of the issues and now we're waiting for the paperwork," Arum said. "I said on the call that if what we agreed upon is in the paperwork we receive, we will sign it and the tickets will be released."



  • Progress! Top Rank receives ticket manifest for Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 4 days ago

    There was a major breakthrough in the ticket debacle between Top Rank and Mayweather Promotions that has brought talk about the May 2 mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to a standstill.

    Top Rank president Todd duBoef confirmed to Yahoo Sports he received a ticket manifest late afternoon Tuesday, which he said represents significant progress in the dispute. DuBoef said there were "small issues" with the manifest but he was generally pleased with what he saw.

    It is a step forward toward getting a deal done.

    "This is very positive news," duBoef told Yahoo Sports after going over the manifest.

    Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's adviser, angrily said a "lawsuit is inevitable" earlier Tuesday as another day passed with no tickets on sale and no signed contract between the promoters and the venue for the May 2 megafight at the MGM Grand Garden between Pacquiao and unbeaten rival Floyd Mayweather.

    Haymon doesn't speak to the media and Hornbuckle couldn't be reached.

  • Oscar De La Hoya blames Mayweather camp for megafight ticket snafu

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 4 days ago

    Another day has passed without any word of when – or even if – tickets will go on sale for the Floyd Mayeather-Manny Pacquiao fight that is scheduled for May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

    Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya, who fought Mayweather in 2007 in the top-selling pay-per-view event of all-time and whose company, Golden Boy Promotions, promoted all of Mayweather's fights between 2007 and 2014, was asked his reaction to the fact tickets haven't been put on sale yet.

    He didn't pull any punches. He put the onus on Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and took a none-too-subtle zing at Mayweather Promotions.

    "We promoted Mayweather's last 10 fights, I believe," De La Hoya told Yahoo Sports. "The promotions all were great. Everything was smooth. We never came across any problems whatsoever. This is mind-boggling. This is shocking, but at the same time, we understand what is going on. This is the Al factor. This is what you get when you deal with Al."




  • Nevada commission appoints Kenny Bayless to referee Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 4 days ago

    Kenny Bayless got the plum assignment of the year and was in essence designated as the top referee in the world by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday when he was chosen to referee the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden.

    Judges selected were Burt Clements, Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman.

    Bayless is no stranger to either Mayweather or Pacquiao, having worked in recent years many of their fights. Bayless has refereed Mayweather in his rematch against Marcos Maidana, as well as against Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya.

    Bayless has refereed Pacquiao in his rematch with Timothy Bradley, his bouts with Mosley and Miguel Cotto, and his third and fourth fights with Juan Manuel Marquez.

    There was only a small bit of drama. Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler said he had objections to two of the names on the list of officials proposed by executive director Bob Bennett, but he said he didn't want to say their names publicly. He said he had spoken with Bennett privately about his concerns.

    Bayless will earn a fee of $25,000, believed to be the highest ever for a referee. The judges will earn $20,000 apiece.

  • Manny Pacquiao conference call begins and ends when first question is asked

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 5 days ago

    If it wasn't bizarre enough that it took more than five years for the parties to finally come to terms to pit Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match sports fans have been calling for since at least November 2009, it's getting even crazier.

    Tickets are still not on sale less than two weeks before the May 2 event at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

    And in keeping with the bizarr-o world of this fight, a Pacquiao conference call Monday was abruptly canceled only minutes after it began.

    Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who is not a fan of conference calls, jumped in and ordered the end of the call just six or seven minutes after it began as reporter Michael Marley of was asking the first question.

    Top Rank released a statement in which it said the conference system went down "and we were unable to communicate with our operators." Yahoo Sports attempted to dial in shortly before the 2 p.m. ET start, but was unable to get through. Several other reporters had the same issue.

    But Yahoo Sports spoke with Arum after the snafu. He said the statement, "was the p.c. way of doing it, but what I told you is the Arum way."