• Nevada commission randomly tested Mayweather, Pacquiao in 2009

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 hrs ago

    LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will finally meet in a ring on Saturday at the MGM Grand, more than five years after their teams came ever so close to putting a match together in early 2010.

    The sides nearly came to terms on a deal in December 2009. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said all terms had been agreed upon when Mayweather demanded random Olympic-style blood and urine testing to scan for performance enhancing drugs. Arum said he recalls the date as being around Dec. 10, 2009, though he said he isn't certain.

    That type of testing was not being done in boxing at the time and Arum said he, trainer Freddie Roach and Pacquiao were ignorant of what it entailed. After much back and forth, Pacquiao ultimately declined to participate in the testing.

    "Manny said there had to be a period of time before the fight where they will stop the testing. We negotiated that and we had an agreement on that and Mayweather walked away from it."

    Just before Christmas 2009, then-Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer sent out a news release making public Mayweather's demand for testing. He said the fight would not go forward without it.

  • Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao combined for $1.6 billion in PPV sales

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 18 hrs ago

    LAS VEGAS -- It's hardly a secret that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are going to sell a lot of pay-per-views on Saturday when they meet at the MGM Grand Garden for the WBA-WBC-WBO welterweight title in what is expected to be the largest grossing fight in boxing history.

    Their full pay-per-view history, though, shows the extent of their popularity.

    Mayweather, who turned pro in 1996 after winning a bronze medal in the Atlanta Olympic Games, began fighting on pay-per-view in 2005. In all, he's fought 13 times (nine times on HBO Pay-Per-View and four times on Showtime PPV) on pay-per-view and generated 14.5 million sales and $873 million in gross revenue.

    Pacquiao made his pay-per-view debut in 2006, fighting twice on smaller Top Rank PPV cards before graduating to the big-time. In all, Pacquiao has made 20 PPV appearances (one on Showtime, two on Top Rank and 17 on HBO). He's sold 13.4 million units and generated $741 million in gross revenue.

    The bout last week was ahead of the pace that the Mayweather-Alvarez fight was on Wednesday of fight week. It's impossible to know if that will hold up, but it's a sign to expect a very robust number.

  • Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao set separate public appearances Tuesday

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 18 hrs ago

    When Top Rank's Bob Arum opted last week to pull Manny Pacquiao from his scheduled slot on the grand arrivals Tuesday at the MGM Grand, it caused a lot of anger among the Filipino star's fan base.

    Because there was a $10 charge for Friday's weigh-in, which has since sold out, Arum's decision to have Pacquiao skip the arrivals that serve as the unofficial kickoff of fight week meant Pacquiao would not make any free public appearances before his fight with Floyd Mayweather on Saturday.

    But now, both fighters will appear in public on Tuesday in separate events.

    Pacquiao will hold a rally beginning at 11 a.m. Pacific time at Mandalay Bay in Bayside C on the first floor of the South Convention Center. Doors will open at 10 a.m. Appearing with Pacquiao wil be Arum, trainer Freddie Roach, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez and adviser Michael Koncz.

    The Mayweather arrival ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the Grand Garden Arena. Southern University's "Human Jukebox" marching band will perform, as will comedia Ricky Smiley. The event will be hosted by Doug E. Fresh. Doors open to the Grand Garden at 1 p.m.

    Both events are free and open to the public.

  • Now a rival, Floyd Mayweather once cheered hard for Manny Pacquiao

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago

    They're now bitter rivals and their fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand has created a huge gulf between their fan bases. But on Jan. 21 2006, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was cheering Manny Pacquiao on during a rematch with Erik Morales in a super featherweight fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

    At the time, Mayweather had just begun preparations for a welterweight title bout against Zab Judah on April 6, 2006, and no one could imagine that a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight could ever be feasible, let alone become the highest-grossing fight of all-time.

    Mayweather and Pacquiao finally meet in a welterweight title fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand that will set all sorts of financial records.

    Mayweather is expected to make at least $180 million and could make as much as $200 million after proceeds of the pay-per-view sales are tabulated. Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said it hasn't been determined what Mayweather's guarantee is yet, but he could get a check on Saturday for as much as $80 million.

    The rematch in 2006 was at the Thomas & Mack Center, the home of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball team.



  • Manny Pacquiao winding up camp, heading to Las Vegas on Monday

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago

    Fight week has finally arrived, and if you're on Interstate 15 heading north between Los Angeles and Las Vegas sometime late Monday afternoon, you might catch a glimpse of Manny Pacquiao and his entourage en route to Las Vegas for the mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    Pacquiao has a custom-painted bus he'll be riding in after he finishes his final workout on Monday at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood and begins the trek to Las Vegas to officially start the countdown to Saturday's latest incarnation of boxing's "Fight of the Century."

    Pacquiao is staying at Mandalay Bay, not the MGM Grand where the fight is being held. And to this point, he's not planning to make a public appearance at the MGM until the final news conference on Wednesday. He was slated to attend the grand arrival ceremonies on Tuesday at the MGM but his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, is feuding with MGM officials and decided to have Pacquiao skip the arrival.


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

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 3 days 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 3 days 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 4 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 4 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.