This Saturday sees the biggest fight in boxing history occur at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. After six years of protracted negotiations, the world will finally see Floyd Mayweather square off against Manny Pacquiao.
Below is a quick run through of everything that you need to know about this fight:
Tale of the Tape
The most important thing to know about this fight is the history of the two fighters, their style, record and chances. As previously mentioned, talk of a fight between these two has been going on for some time. The first attempts to broker a deal collapsed in the early part of 2010, with Pacquiao not liking Mayweather’s drug testing policy.
Since then there have been various rumours that the two have entered into negotiations, all of which came to no avail. They did, however, stoke the fire, ramping up interest in the fight.
Back in 2009 many believed this fight would be the highest-grossing fight of all time but even they wouldn’t have banked on the figure being as high as most estimates are giving.
This fight practically prints money. Thanks to the huge interest in the fight, tickets have been able to sell at a premium, while the TV audience promises to be the greatest in the history of the sport.
In the UK alone, PPV figures are expected to be in between 1.5 and 1.8 million buys, equating to revenues between £30-36 million. That is a record.
Overall, analysts have projected that the fight will garner a record 3.8 million buys which translates to a $300 million pot for the two to share.
Mayweather enters the fight at 4/9 odds at the time of writing in the boxing betting. Pacquiao comes in at 19/10. Mayweather is as slippery as an eel and unbelievably quick in the ring. If the fight goes the distance then Mayweather will be the winner.
However, Mayweather lacks power. In his perfect 47-0 record, only 26 have been via knockout, of which only two have come in his last ten fights. Pacquiao is not as good as Floyd, and it shows in his 57-5 record.
But Pacquiao does possess tremendous power and is capable of producing a hammer blow. People question Mayweather’s jaw. It has never been truly caught so we do not know how strong it is. But if Pacquiao can produce one of his trademark slugs then he may just knock Mayweather out. Indeed, many see this as the only way Pacquiao can win.
When is the fight?
Doors to the arena open at 2pm local time, with the first fight expected to take place at 3pm and the main event scheduled for five hours later at 8pm local time. Vegas is eight hours behind the United Kingdom, so the undercard will be under way at 11pm (GMT) and the main event should be kicking off at 4am (GMT).
Meanwhile, if you want to catch the weigh-in between the two, tune in at 2am (GMT) this Friday.
Where to watch the fight?
If money was no issue there is just one place to watch the fight, the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Being in the near 17,000 crowd, watching history in the making, would really be an unbelievable experience. Sadly, with tickets being as hot as they are, only 1,000 were available to the public. They sold out in less than one minute.
Still, even if you could not watch the fight, spending the weekend in Vegas would still be awesome. The streets will be teeming with thousands of people, all of whom have turned up to soak up the atmosphere and revel in the fight night feel that engulfs the city.
Unfortunately demand completely outstrips supply in the city this weekend, meaning that flights and accommodation are both going to be through the roof.
However, watching the fight on home soil is by no means any less exciting.
Pubs in every town will be selling tickets, probably for a few quid, to come and watch the fight behind closed doors. Unless you have a ticket you won’t be allowed entry due to licensing regulations around opening hours. Most places should still have tickets and you shouldn’t be required to look very hard on social media to find a pub near you showing it.
If you don’t have the money for the pub then you can always watch it at home or round at your mates. The location itself isn’t important. What is important is the fight.
How to watch it
Here in the UK, the fight is available through pay-per-view on Sky Sports for a price of £19.95. Live coverage commences at midnight on Sunday 3 May. To order the event you can either use your Sky remote, visit the Box Office page or call 03442 410888.
From midnight on Friday May 1 until 7.00am on Sunday May 3, booking the fight over the phone will cost an extra £5.
Who to watch it with
This is not something you want to be watching alone. You want someone to discuss the action with and to join you in a chorus of oohs and aahs. The best people to be around for a boxing match is a group of mates. You can all appreciate the barbaric nature of the fight and talk about it with enthusiasm.
Watching it with family is also a good way to watch it. A fight of this magnitude should hold most people’s interest regardless of age or gender.
What you’ll need
You’re going to be fully stocked and supplied with snacks and drinks. With the fight being as late as it is, you can keep the drinks flowing throughout the evening. Indeed, having a non-alcoholic drink is Sky Sports presenter Johnny Nelson’s top tip for staying awake. The need to go to the toilet will make sure you do not fall asleep.
Food wise, you want something that doesn’t require you to get up out of your chair. Crisps are always the perfect food for things like this, but if you have time in the day you can pre-make a party spread that you and your guests can pick at throughout the night.
Who else is fighting?
Televised PPV undercard:
126 lbs: WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (29-0-1, 17 KOs) vs. Jose Cayetano (17-3, 8 KOs)
126 lbs: WBO Featherweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko (3-1, 1 KO) vs. Gamalier Rodriguez (25-2-3, 17 KOs)
154 lbs: Chris “Sweet” Pearson (11-0, 9 KOs) vs. Said El Harrak (12-2, 7 KOs)
168 lbs: Jesse Hart (16-0, 13 KOs) vs. Mike Jimenez (17-0, 11 KOs)
200 lbs: Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti (9-0, 9 KOs) vs. Anthony Caputo Smith (15-4, 10 KOs)
154 lbs: Brad Solomon (24-0, 9 KOs) vs. Adrian Rene Granados (13-3, 9 KOs)