LAS VEGAS - If the frenzy at Friday afternoon's weigh-in for the welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao means anything, pay-per-view sales for a premium ranging from $89.95 to $100 should hum over the next day leading to the 9 p.m. Eastern start of the PPV telecast. The telecast is expected to surpass the record 2.48 million buys for Mayweather's bout with Oscar De La Hoya.
Official attendance Friday at the MGM Grand Garden was announced at 11,500 fans who paid $10 to attend, but few gaps in the 16,000-seat arena were visible. Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) was the first to step on the scale and came in at 145, a full two pounds under the welterweight limit. Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) weighed 146.
Clearly, both are in superb condition for a bout that most boxing fans believe also will determine the best pound-for-pound fighter of this post-2000 era. The bout first was proposed five years ago, and negotiations were on and off that whole time, prompting many in boxing to think it never would happen.
But it's here now, and announcer Jim Gray said a gleeful Pacquiao thanked Mayweather on stage after they stepped off the scales and ended the traditional faceoff. Mayweather, who has adopted a businesslike attitude all week, told Gray in an interview afterward that he didn't hear what Pacquiao was saying.
When Gray asked Mayweather if he wanted to win this fight more than any other, as the announcer said the fighter told him in private, Mayweather repeated his weeklong mantra, "All 47 fights played a major key."
When it was Pacquiao's turn to speak with Gray, he was asked why he thanked Mayweather. "I thanked him for the fight," Pacquiao said. "All the fans deserve it."
Finally, it's here.