By Dom Pembroke
With boxing’s grandest contest hyped to a global scale, the waiting finally comes to an end with the hotly anticipated contest only around the corner.
As the world holds its breath, both Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr and Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao complete their final preparations as they psyche themselves for the May 2 fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Today’s weigh-ins will be the last appearance of the two fighters before their ring walks at around 4am (UK time) in the early hours of Sunday.
As the whole boxing community has their say on who will prevail, local boxing coach Gary Sutcliffe believes that Mayweather Jr will be victorious.
Sutcliffe, who runs Tigers Gym in Headingley, with former four times women’s world champion wife Michelle, adds that Mayweather will “wear Manny down over the distance and take the fight”.
The former four-weight world champion and pound for pound number one Roy Jones Jr adds that this will be Money’s hardest test to date adding that Pacquiao’s speed and incredible work rate will trouble the American.
With Mayweather stepping into the ring as favourite there is a list of important points for the Filipino to consider if he hopes to see himself victor.
Pacman has already resisted the mind games of the Mayweathers, as both Junior and Senior have made attempts at winding up Pacquiao and coach Freddie Roach.
Mayweather was questioned on Thursday for a T-shirt showing his own face in front of the Philippines flag but stated that it was not meant to offend and was part of The Money Team’s global merchandise.
Meanwhile Mayweather Sr was on camera mocking Roach in a rhyme during Wednesday’s media outings in an attempt to get under the skin of Pacquiao’s coach.
If there is one thing that can be certain in reading all of the opinions of ex-champions and boxing’s avid followers it is that the fight cannot be decided within all the words and that no-one can choose a definitive winner with abilities so challenging to each boxer.
Names such as Carl Froch, Barry McGuigan, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and a huge number more all come to the same conclusion that the fight will be very close with no one name coming up unanimously.
With excitable media outings earlier in the week both fighters believe firmly in their own abilities and both expressed calm in what is the largest media storm within the last decade.
With the weekend’s proceedings certainly being the focus there has also been talk of how this showdown is one of the largest in history rivalling the likes of Tyson v Buster Mathis and Sugar Ray Leonard v Thomas Hearns.
The fight should even see decent viewing figures in the UK from those willing to fork out the £19.95 price tag on the Sky Box Office showing of the fight.
The financial value of the showdown in the MGM Grand Garden Arena is estimated to be up within the region of $415-$615 million.
Mayweather will take a 60/40 split of the fighters’ purse which is valued at $300 million.
The latest odds show the American’s advantage on paper having him at 1/2 as favourite with the Filipino currently at 7/4 for the win.
The boxing world and indeed many parts of the sporting world hope that this larger than life meeting can bring the much needed revival to boxing and that the outcome of the fight, no matter what, can bring the sport back from the slumber it has experienced in the last couple of decades.