Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: The LA Press Conference

March 12, 2015

Mayweather v. Pacquiao / Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME®

The Mayweather-Pacquiao press conference on Wednesday gave boxing fans a taste of the unprecedented hype that is taking place prior to the May 2nd welterweight showdown between the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

The undefeated Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) is an 11-time world champion in five weight divisions. With his trademark speed, defensive prowess and ability to read his opponents Mayweather has amassed wins over 20 world champions in his already legendary 19-year career.

“Since the fight was announced, the response from the public has been unbelievable, and it’s even more clear that this is the fight the fans want to see,” said Mayweather. “I’m grateful that Manny Pacquiao and I were able to make it happen. This will be the biggest event in the history of boxing. I can’t thank my team enough for their support from day one. I’m more motivated than ever to put on an unbelievable show, and I’ll be ready for May 2.”

Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), is the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many different weight divisions. The Filipino who began his career as a wild swinging knockout artist in the lower divisions, has now become one of the most complete offensive boxers of all time.

“I will be ready for my date with destiny on May 2,” said Pacquiao. “I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years. They have waited long enough and they deserve it. It is their mandate. It is an honor to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”

Over the years, boxing critics have noted that "Money May" is at least as talented at selecting his opponents as fighting them, often catching former champions on the downside of their careers, or picking fighters who are substantially smaller or slower than him. In essence, the argument goes, Floyd Mayweather has made a career of carefully choosing combatants who seem to pose little threat to his tremendous skills.

Yet against the backdrop of this usually-true-but-sometimes-unfair "safe choice" narrative, Mayweather has now finally agreed to this bout with Pacquiao, a fighter with the speed, talent, and experience to make things truly interesting.

Thus, despite the fact that this bout is long overdue (probably 5 years past its prime), it is not surprising that even the most cynical boxing fans are still eagerly anticipating this match up. For many, contemplating even the possibility of a Mayweather defeat for the first time in a long while makes this fight exceptional.

After all, even an older Manny Pacquiao is no Marcos Maidana, Victor Ortiz, or Robert Guerrero. In fact some might argue that even this "lesser" Pacquiao is the toughest fighter that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has ever fought.

Combine that with Mayweather's own slightly diminished skills and, well, things are even more interesting.

Befitting the unprecedented nature of this mega-fight, a bout that is expected to be the richest in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were given the royal treatment Wednesday at a gala press conference at Nokia Theatre at LA Live.

Here are what participants from Wednesday’s press conference had to say:

On the timing of the fight...

Floyd Mayweather: “This fight could've happened a long time ago, but it’s the right time now. It’s an unbelievable matchup and I know the fans can’t wait for this. The timing is right and the timing is now...We finally made it happen. Everything is about timing."

Manny Pacquiao: “I believe that this fight has been well worth the wait. More people are familiar with us as fighters, even people who aren't fans of boxing know about this fight."

On bad blood with Bob Arum...

Floyd Mayweather: “There was no resentment towards (former promoter) Bob Arum, I was just happy to become my own boss after years of working hard and dedicating myself to boxing and also learning the business side of it. With time, I eventually had to become my own boss. There are no hard feelings towards Bob Arum at all."

Bob Arum, Founder and CEO of Top Rank: “I have no animosity with Floyd Mayweather. Floyd has always remained a good friend; I have nothing whatsoever bad to say about Floyd as a person.

On the importance of the Miami meeting...

Floyd Mayweather: “I think that us meeting after the Miami Heat basketball game, meeting one-on-one, I feel that that is the reason why this fight happened...It really came down to my team and his team sitting down and communicating, getting on the same page basically."

Manny Pacquiao: “In Miami we talked about the fight and I understood that I was the B side and he was the A side."

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions: “I would like to recognize the role that Floyd and Manny had in making this fight. The meeting that they had in Miami was a major milestone and I would personally like to thank Floyd for making it happen."

Bob Arum: “It wasn't until the basketball game in Miami where Manny was convinced that Floyd wanted the fight."

Confidence going into the fight...

Floyd Mayweather: "“We have faced all the top guys in this sport and have beaten all the top guys. After this fight, which I believe I will be victorious, then we will move on to another guy...“May 2 we have a tough task ahead of me. Manny Pacquaio is a good fighter, but last time I checked I faced eight southpaws and won eight times, so I am not worried.

Manny Pacquiao: “I like being the underdog going into a fight. It has been a while since I’ve been one...I don’t want to judge, but I am very confident about this fight. I was more worried about my fights against [Oscar] De La Hoya, [Antonio] Margarito and [Miguel] Cotto, than I am with fighting Floyd Mayweather."

The impact on legacy...

Floyd Mayweather: “I have nothing to prove on May 2. I know about my skills, I know what I can do and I know what I bring to the sport of boxing. I am truly blessed to have broken all the records in boxing. Right now I don’t see any particular fighter breaking any of my records."

Manny Pacquiao: “This fight is very important to me and in boxing history. We don’t want to leave a question mark in the mind of boxing fans. Boxing fans have been eager to see this fight for five years. They have been asking me the same question and it is finally happening."

On Pacquiao's recent defeats...

Floyd Mayweather: “If a fighter lost before, losing is in the back of his mind. For me, all I've done in my career is win, so winning is always in my mind."

On Mayweather's decline...

Freddie Roach: “I think that Floyd had a better chance of beating Manny Pacquiao five years ago than he does now. Floyd’s legs are more shot now and he has slowed down quite a bit. I think we can take advantage of that...Floyd says that he wants to exchange with fighters more now to make it a more exciting fight, but I think that isn't true. He doesn't care about the fans at all and the only reason he has to exchange more is because his legs won’t take him out of the fight."

Game plan for the fight...

Floyd Mayweather: “I think that styles make fights, and I think that our two different styles make for an exciting fight...I’m pretty sure my father has a great game plan so we can go out there and do what we do best. Our game plan is to be smart, be first, take our time and get the job done."

Freddie Roach: “Our game plan is to win every round. If we get the knockout, then that’s just a bonus. Floyd will dip into Manny’s power. That’s the mistake that someone will make against a southpaw. We have to win the first round and take Floyd out of his comfort zone.”

by Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...