Mayweather vs Pacquiao: The fight of the century
EWN spoke to official ring announcer Michael Buffer ahead of the fight this weekend.
CAPE TOWN - It doesn't get bigger than this!
It's been billed as 'The Fight of the Century', and not since Muhammad Ali took on George Foreman in the famous 1974 'Rumble in the Jungle' has the world experienced such hysteria in the build-up to a boxing bout.
Floyd 'Money' Mayweather Jr will take on Filipino Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao on Saturday 2 May in Las Vegas in the most eagerly anticipated single sporting event of this generation.
Saturday's boxing match will see the five-division world champion Mayweather put his 47-0 record as well as his WBA, WBO and WBC welterweight titles on the line against the eight-division world champion Pacquiao in a matchup that's said to be the highest grossing fight in history.
The fight has been a long time coming. In fact it's been talked about since 2009, however disagreements between the fighters camps prevented the super fight from happening.
The boxers' first face to face encounter came in January this year, when they both coincidentally attended an NBA game in the USA, which got the ball rolling in terms of negotiations for a fight.
Less than three months after that impromptu meeting while sitting courtside at a Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks game, the two best boxers of this era will step into the ring to answer the question on everyone's lips. Who's better? Manny or Floyd?
One man who knows both boxers really well, says it's too tough of a question to answer.
World famous boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer says it's hard to predict who'll come out tops at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Buffer spoke to EWN SPORT ahead of the fight where he'll be one of the ring announcers.
The 70-year-old American is famous for his trademarked catchphrase "Let's get ready to rumble" which he says ahead of all fights.
Buffer says he's a huge fan of both fighters.
"I know everybody wants a prediction and it wouldn't really be politically for me to make one but I have to tell you personally I just see it as a 50/50 fight, I really do. And this has happened many times before I am going to have the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat no matter what happens because as a fan I love both guys."
But who's better? And what will either boxer need to do to beat the other?
"If Paquiao is to prevail he will have to be a 'Tasmanian Devil' literally for three minutes of every round to capture a decision. If Mayweather is to win he just have to do what he does best and that's bring in defence, counter punching and hand speed. It's just a difficult fight to pick a winner," said Buffer.
But is it really the 'Fight of the Century' like everyone's making it out to be? Buffer thinks we'll only know the answer to that once the fight is over.
"You know we will all know on Sunday 3 May if it is the greatest fight of the century or not, not going into it. It's the greatest promotion right now and the most anticipated fight in history but we have to always wait for the next day before we decide it's the greatest fight in history."
Profiles of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, ahead of their 2 May Las Vegas showdown.
FACTS ABOUT THE FIGHT:
• The fight will be co-announced by Michael Buffer of HBO & Jimmy Lennon Jr. of Showtime.
• Mayweather will receive the lion's share of a 60-40 money split in a fight that could gross up to $400 million. His name will be first: "Mayweather-Pacquiao" on the fight bill. He will walk to the ring second and be introduced second. Mayweather will also have his choice of ring corner and locker room in the arena.
• Both fighters will wear 8 oz. gloves with brands of their choosing. Mayweather will wear custom Grant gloves with a multicolored paisley pattern, red & purple trim, and the letters TBE on the cuff. Pacquiao will wear standard red Cleto Reyes gloves with black & white trim. This is a very critical detail for both fighters due to past controversies over glove choice.
• The fight will take place at the Welterweight limit of 147 lbs. (66.7 kg.)
• Both fighters have agreed to undergo United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Olympic-style drug testing. This drug-testing program consists of both random blood and urine testing, with the fighters agreeing to let their whereabouts be known at all times during training so that random pre-fight testing can be administered. Both fighters will also be tested directly after the fight
• The US National Anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, will be performed by Academy & Grammy Award winner and avid boxing fan, Jamie Foxx
• The winner of the fight will receive a newly created belt by the WBC. The belt, valued at $1 million, is an exact replica of the current belt, except it has thousands of emeralds in place of the gold plating for the centre logo. The belt also contains the faces of both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, along with the faces of the former WBC president, José Sulaimán, and boxing legend, Muhammad Ali.
• Tickets for the fight went on sale on 23 April after an agreement had been reached over ticket allocation. Around 1000 tickets will be on public sale priced between $1,500 and $10,000 for the 16,800 capacity MGM Grand