Mayweather restrained, Pacquiao preacher-like in final press event before Big Fight
By Rich Mazon
30 Apr 2015
Las Vegas - The atmosphere of the final press conference for the mega-bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao failed in comparison to the tremendous hype this fight has generated in the eyes of the public.
The press event was a subdued and mellow speaking engagement from the fighters and the personnel behind what is dubbed as "The Fight of the Century."
Gone was the outspoken and blunt persona of Mayweather Jr., that the public has seen and heard plenty in the past. His trash talking was absent when he took to the dais to speak to a gathering of media men from all over the world that has found their way at the MGM Grand.
He was calm, sipping from a Starbucks cup while listening to others deliver their speeches.
When it was his turn to do so, he delivered his short piece that is devoid of any drama that the press has been angling from him.
"This has been truly an amazing, amazing turn-out. Training camp has been remarkable. There's been a great chemistry with all the members of my team," stated the undefeated champion as he credited his father Floyd Sr. and uncle, Roger Mayweather for their contribution to his preparations against Pacquiao.
Pacquiao showed more emotions in the stage than his upcoming counterpart in the ring. He was smiling through the majority of the event and joking with his trainer Freddie Roach who was seated beside him.
He was also like a pastor during a Sunday church service- professing about his faith and how he has attained the peak of his career with the will of the Almighty.
"Everything that I have accomplished is from God who gave me the strength. I just want to be an example and inspiration to everybody. I used to steal in the street and starving. But now, I can't imagine how our Lord raised me to this position," delivered Pacquiao in a venue that is the setting for a Cirque de Soleil show but sounded as quiet as a Sunday morning service.
And when the two posed for the obligatory 'Face-off' in front of the press photographers and TV crews in front of them - the two maintained civility like businessmen who will earn the biggest revenue in boxing instead of fighters who are about to hurt each other in three days.
But the presser was not entirely a showcase of civility from others in the stage.
Bob Arum, the promoter of Pacquiao, unloaded praises on his fighter, HBO and almost everyone in his side of the table. He stressed how HBO is the number 1 network, how Pacquiao is the most influential fighter in the world, how Roach is a great trainer and how the Mandalay Bay was a great hotel.
It was a swing against SHOWTIME, Mayweather Jr. and Sr. and the MGM Grand, who once labeled itself as the "Home of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Arum's remarks were ignored by SHOWTIME's Stephen Espinoza but derived a short rebuttal from Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions who reminded everyone that his unbeaten boss is "The best fighter in the planet."
Arum's provocations drew smirks, smiles and head shakes from the people up in the stage and the audience who were controlling their reaction.
It was the only histrionics of an event that is supposed to promote a fight that took five years of back and forth accusations between the two camps.
Floyd Sr., the provocative father and trainer of his son, who has been a source of fire in his interviews with the press about was again not allowed to speak in front of the microphone, similar to the first press conference in Los Angeles in March. He was also, nearly ignored and not acknowledged by Ellerbe during the presser.
Floyd Sr. tried to deliver a speech in the dais, but everyone in the panel stood up already for the posing of fighters, depriving the event of a fight atmosphere it needs.
Pacquiao said that after this fight this Saturday, which he maintained as never personal, he would like to talk to Mayweather Jr. about his faith and his religion.
"I am hoping that after the fight, I can speak to Floyd and that I could share my faith about God and that we can inspire people, especially children who are looking at us," said Pacquiao, who is again a picture of a religious figure inviting recruits to his congregation.
"You guys came here to see excitement and witness a great event. And that's what both competitors bring to the table - excitement," says Mayweather Jr.
That promise of "excitement" is not evident at today's event. Maybe it'll come in Friday's highly anticipated weigh-in festivities.
But it is the hope of everyone that it'll ultimately arrive in a beautifully wrapped box in the ring this Saturday.
"It's time to fight now," declared Mayweather Jr.
The world agrees.
You can reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org and is on Twitter @Freemazon910.
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