Justin Bieber joins Floyd Mayweather Jr. ringside, muting pro-Miguel Cotto crowd’s prefight booing

Martin Rogers
Yahoo! Sports

LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather Jr. stunned the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena ahead of his super welterweight world title clash with Miguel Cotto by inviting teenage pop icon Justin Bieber to join him at ringside.

Bieber spent time in Mayweather's locker room in the hours leading up to the fight and even carried two of the pound-for-pound king's title belts into the ring.

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The 18-year-old Bieber's unexpected arrival took the capacity crowd by surprise, and it was no coincidence that Mayweather was not booed as heavily as predicted by the strongly pro-Cotto crowd.

It is believed that Bieber and Mayweather had not previously met but made contact with each other on Twitter with a brief exchange that ended with the boxer issuing a spur of the moment invitation for Bieber to join him in Las Vegas.

[Related: Kevin Iole: Mayweather is naturally gifted, but he's persistent as well]

Bieber stood shoulder to shoulder with Mayweather and his rapper friend 50 Cent as the fighters were announced by emcee Michael Buffer. Then, as hostilities in the ring commenced, the singer was placed just feet away from trainer Roger Mayweather and the rest of the self-proclaimed "Money Team." Bieber wasted no time in screaming encouragement to his new friend in the tense early exchanges against Cotto.

It is not known whether Bieber had previously attended a championship fight, although he did take part in an extraordinary fashion shoot by renowned photographer Tony Kelly back in March, in which he was snapped fighting in a ring while dressed in a tuxedo.

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