It’s a fight that has been years in the making. Within hours, Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “the Pacman” Pacquiao will go head-to-head at the MGM Grand Garden arena.
Mayweather has told fans to be ready for an epic battle when he faces his rival in Las Vegas on Saturday night. It’ll be Sunday morning in Asia when the bout is beamed to millions of ecstatic Pacquiao fans in his home country, the Philippines.
With the time for talking all but done, 38-year-old Mayweather told CNN: “He’s going to come and bring his best – and his best is going to bring the best out of me.
“My job is to go out there and be Floyd Mayweather and do what I do best. Both sides have said a lot, but it’s all about the two competitors.”
Unbeaten in 47 professional fights, Mayweather played down claims from some quarters that he had appeared subdued in the build-up to what some are calling the “Fight of the Century.”
“I feel good,” he said. “I’m very, very happy. My team have done a tremendous job.
“I have grown and matured over the years. I’m not far from 40 years old, and I have been in this sport as a professional for 19 years. You outgrow some things.
“I know I can fight, and I know the guy I am fighting. It is not an easy task, but this is my job. This is what I chose to do.”
Pacquiao said he was “ready for the challenge” and had “peace of mind.”
But the 36-year-old Filipino admitted that his 65th – and most eagerly-awaited – professional fight would be “different,” adding: “I’m excited, and I’m sure the fans will love it.
“It means a lot to me to be representing the Philippines – people are excited to watch this fight.
“I don’t have a prediction, but I will do my best to make the fans happy. They deserve a good fight. They are paying more than double than for a regular fight.”
Getting a ticket for the MGM Grand has proven to be a difficult and massively expensive undertaking, with the price of a ringside seat rocketing.
As Mayweather put it: “Tickets are going for between $8,000 and $400,000 to $500,000. You know, we call this the billionaire boys’ club.”
But plenty have stumped up big bucks to be there, with Tony Buzbee, an attorney who paid $74,000 for a pair of 12th-row seats, telling CNN: “It’s going to be a once in a lifetime type of fight, and I’m going to be there just for the event of it all.
“Growing up loving sports, to be in a position where I can go to this type of event… it’s just wonderful.”
Pacquiao fan Mark Sarmiento, who paid $7,500 to be there, agrees.
“It was a little out of budget but once I got it, it sunk in – I’m pretty much going to this fight,” he said.
Here’s a look at the numbers behind the boxers:
60:40 – revenue split in favor of Mayweather.
$300-400m – the estimated total revenue for the May 2 bout.
38 – Mayweather’s age; two years older than his opponent.
5 – The number of years it took to strike a deal between the two boxers.
$1.5m – How much Pacquiao’s shorts alone will be worth after six companies bid for sponsorship space.
$25,000 – The value of the mouth guard adorned with diamonds and gold Mayweather will wear on fight night.
$1,500 – starting price for tickets in U.S. dollars.
8 – Pacquiao is the first and only eight-division world champion with 10 world titles to his name.
1 – Mayweather’s ranking on last year’s Forbes highest-paid athletes list.
$105m – The amount “Money” earned last year.
$180,000 – The price ringside tickets had skyrocketed to by April 27 (5 days before the fight.)
16,800 – Capacity at the MGM Grand Garden arena where the fight will take place.
5 – The number of boxers Pacquiao and Mayweather have both fought. The “famous five”: Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto.
$100 – The fee pay-per-view subscribers will shell out to watch the fight, which will be aired jointly on Showtime and HBO.
$300m – Expected pay-per-view buys with the most sales coming from U.S., Puerto Rican and Canadian markets, according to Repucom.
$5.6m – The winning bid for official fight sponsorship by Tecate beer.
57 – The number of wins throughout Pacquiao’s career. Mayweather has less at 47 wins, but…
0 – Mayweather remains undefeated in his fight career (Pacquiao, on the other hand, has suffered 5 losses.)