LAS VEGAS – A mega-boxing event devoid of trash talk continued Wednesday as classy athletes Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley maintained their respectful tones during the final press conference at the Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand. The final press conference for the undercard fighters is Thursday.
Several hundred media types from around the world attended a press conference hosted by SHOWTIME and CBS sports personality, James Brown. Besides the main eventers, other speakers included Hall of Fame promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager SHOWTIME Sports, President Sports and Entertainment MGM Resorts International, Richard Sturm, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and the boxers’ trainers and managers.
Toward the end of his turn at the podium, Pacquiao sang a line from his recently released “Sometimes When We Touch’’ single.
This Saturday, May 7, at the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena, eight-division world champion Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), of General Santos City, Philippines, will defend his WBO welterweight title against three-division world champion Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), of Pomona, Calif., in the main event of a four-fight telecast produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Those who buy the event online will get features unique to the digital platform through NeuLion’s technology. The enhanced and unique viewing offers a four-shot, multi-angle dynamic player that will allow viewers to interact and feel an enriched experience. The online pay-per-view is exclusive to U.S. viewers. Select cable and satellite TV systems will also be offering the pay-per-view live stream.
Closed circuit tickets, priced at $50, are on sale and available at all Las Vegas MGM Resorts properties.
In other bouts on the telecast, WBO junior featherweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (20-0-1, 17 KOs), of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, will make his Las Vegas debut and third title defense when he faces five-time world champion Jorge Arce (56-6-2, 43 KOs), of Los Mochis, México, former world middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, meets undefeated WBC Continental Americas super middleweight titleholder Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (21-0, 16 KOs), of Cut and Shoot, Texas, in a 10-round super middleweight battle; and Mike Alvarado (29-0, 21 KOs), of Denver takes on “Sugar” Ray Narh (25-1, 21 KOs) of Accra, Ghana, in a 10-round super lightweight match.
The mega-event is promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions, Tecate and MGM Grand.
What the participants said Wednesday:
“I’d like to thank everyone involved with this promotion – the MGM, Top Rank, SHOWTIME and CBS. It’s my first time on CBS. It’s good to be back in Las Vegas. I miss being in Vegas for a big fight.
“There has not been trash talk for this fight, and I am happy for that. It sets a good example for the children who idolize fighters. In my life, this is the best promotion I’ve ever had (been involved in).
“I am looking forward to Saturday and making a good fight with Shane Mosley for the fans. I am definitely not taking this fight lightly and I am not underestimating Shane Mosley. Mosley has good hand- and foot-speed and he moves like he is 31 or 32.
“Both of us have worked hard and had great training camps. We will both be doing our best, which should make for a lot of action and make the fans happy. I will be happy if this happens.
“All my life, I’ve had to fight. As a child I had to fight to eat. Now when I fight, the Filipinos call me a hero. I think the world needs more heroes. My biggest fight is not in boxing. My biggest fight is to end poverty in my country. I will be wearing yellow gloves into the ring on Saturday – as a symbol of unity in the fight against poverty.’’
“Pacquiao is a short welterweight, but he’s not a small welterweight. He’s very powerful. This is like a Mike Tyson fight – we’re heavyweights out there. I’m looking to go out there, take charge and beat Manny Pacquiao.
“We’re going to go out there and not take our foot off the gas pedal.
“I can muster all that energy that I had against Margarito. This type of fight reminds me of when I was able to do a lot of damage in the lightweight division. It’s kind of like going back in time.
“I think I can do all the things I could do in the ring five years ago. Ten years ago, I can’t think back that far.
“I’m a great fighter but I’m a regular person at heart. I think that’s why a lot of people are attracted to me.”
(On why he’s an underdog)
“I don’t know, that’s what the odds makers are saying. That’s fine with me. The main goal is to get the win and then we can talk about being an underdog. I don’t pay attention to that – I’ve been an underdog in a lot of my fights.
“Every time I fight my goal is to give a great fight. I always want to do my best, whether I knock him out in the 12th, 10th, whatever.
“I think living healthy and living clean, keeping myself active even when I’m not fighting (is what keeps me young). I think that’s why I’m still able to do this. Maybe it’s good genetics, too. I still feel good, I still feel young. I feel like I could fight for years.”
(On Floyd rooting for him)
“That’s great. Floyd does what he does and he says what he says. But, for the most part, we’re all friendly with the Mayweather family and I think that’s why he’s pulling for me.”
PROMOTER BOB ARUM
“It’s no secret we’ve been out of Las Vegas with Manny Pacquiao fights for over a year. We had two fights in Dallas but I’m happy to say we’re back because Las Vegas needs an event like this. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be brought into Las Vegas with this event.
“The way we’ve conducted this promotion is something new to the sport of boxing. The pairs of eyeballs that watch Fight Camp 360 is well over three million and by Saturday it will be well over four million.
“The measure will be that more people will be able to know and do know about this fight than any other fight in recent memory.
“Everybody loves “Sugar” Shane Mosley because he respects his opponent and he respects the sport. But when he gets in the ring he has a fire in his belly. When the opponent gets in the ring and is ready to fight nobody is braver than Shane Mosley”
“We have five sports franchises but our flagship sport is boxing… and it will always be. We’ve been involved in some of the largest boxing events in the world and we think this one fits right in with those.
“Thank you to CBS Corporation. It has activated the company’s resources like the network, radio, online and CBS Outdoor to spread the word about this fight. We’re excited to say that we have over three million viewers to the Fight Camp 360 content between all of these resources.”
OSCAR GOODMAN (Las Vegas Mayor)
“This is a great day for Las Vegas. Las Vegas is back as far as this fight is concerned and it doesn’t get better than this. We love to have this event. This is one of the biggest events in Las Vegas history.”
FREDDIE ROACH (Pacquiao’s Trainer)
“I’m very proud of Manny and the training camp he just went through. He said at the start that this was a tough fight and he has trained his butt off since Day 1.
“This is definitely a tough fight but Manny is 100 percent ready. We have a great team. I want to thank the entire camp for helping make this the best camp ever.
“Manny is in the best shape ever. He knows he has to be. We are facing a determined guy who is extremely crafty and experienced.
“We anticipate a sensational championship event this weekend and we know the fans in the sold-out arena and those watching on TV will witness a battle between two of the sport’s greatest champions.
“Manny Pacquiao will return to MGM Grand for the first time since 2009 and looks to earn his fourth straight win inside this arena. He will once again bring his high-energy action to the ring while entertaining his supporters not only from the Philippines but those around the Globe.
“It’s also a pleasure to welcome back Shane Mosley to MGM Grand, where he fought exactly one year ago. Mosley has had tremendous success here and in Las Vegas over the course of his career. We are obviously anxious once again to see the skills and exceptional speed he brings into the ring each time he fights.”
NAAZIM RICHARDSON (Mosley’s Trainer)
“I’m very protective of my athletes. You have to protect them and look out for their best interests.
“Margarito took shots early in the fight from Shane Mosley that, to this day, I’m still surprised. Margarito is a special athlete and what Shane did still surprises me.
“We tend to overlook the high IQ that Shane has in boxing.
“It’s not about him trying to be like Pacquiao. This is a legend. This is “Sugar” Shane Mosley. He doesn’t have to be like Pacquiao. He has to be “Sugar” Shane Mosley. If he can be the best “Sugar” Shane Mosley then Manny Pacquiao is going to have problems.
“Shane Mosley is a great person; he just happens to know how to fight his ass off.
“You’re not talking about an ordinary guy getting older. You’re talking about a legend. “Sugar” Shane Mosley doesn’t have to match Manny Pacquiao because he’s bringing his own weapons.”
JAMES PRINCE (Mosley’s manager)
“We’re happy to be here and ready for a good fight. It’s an honor and a privilege to witness one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing when “Sugar” Shane Mosley beats Manny Pacquiao.’’