LAS VEGAS – For longtime fight fans, the instances are reserved in the mind.

But on the occasion of the 100th championship fight at the hallowed ground that is the MGM Grand Garden Arena, they’ve been brought to life by a “pop-up” shrine to the 100 fights the building’s arena has hosted since its 1994 opening.

“This was truly a labor of love – both for the building and the city of Las Vegas,” said MGM Grand General Manager Scott Preston, who curated the project that exists just outside the entrance to the arena.

“A lot of history has been made in that arena and in this building and it warrants a shout-out to all those who played a big part in that.”

Greeted by the fight poster of the 1994 heavyweight title upset by 45-year-old George Foreman against champion Michael Moorer to recapture the heavyweight belt nearly 20 years from the day he lost it to Muhammad Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle, the MGM Grand shrine transports the visitor through an incredible maze of memorabilia.

From signed corner stools to ring cards to fight robes to fight posters and photos of the many celebrities who’ve attended the bouts, the memories come flooding back to some of the defining moments that the sport has provided since the arena’s grand opening.

“The leaders before me did a wonderful job of storing all this. It’s amazing when you go through what we actually have – the history is incredible,” Preston said.

The WBC donated its first championship belt to the “pop-up museum,” one worn by Foreman, Ali and others.

Many of the fight posters are signed, along with signed shorts provided by eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao and others.

There’s a corner dedicated to the arena’s most infamous evening, the “Bite Fight” during which a frustrated Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield’s ear.

Recalling the event, some veteran writers recounted a follow-up moment, when a member of the arena maintenance crew came to press row afterward holding the bitten-off ear chunk in a napkin, asking writers where he should take it.

“Do you believe we do this s**t?” one writer said to veteran Arizona Republic boxing scribe Norm Frauenheim.

While never confirmed, legend has it the maintenance man hopped in a cab bound for the hospital treating Holyfield, only to lose the ear piece during the transport.

Preston commented, “If these walls could talk, right?”

The MGM Grand will often design special casino chips for high-profile bouts, including the most lucrative pay-per-view bouts of all time, including the 2015 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao bout, the 2013 Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight and the 2007 showdown won by Mayweather over Oscar De La Hoya.

Later in 2007, recently inducted International Hall of Famer Ricky Hatton brought so many Brits with him for his Mayweather bout, the MGM Grand briefly ran out of beer as fans heartily sang, “There’s only one Ricky Hatton!”

One of the commemorative chips was enlarged from the first fight at the MGM Grand, when Frankie Randall upset Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.

Many high-profile fighters maintained fervent loyalty to fighting at the MGM Grand, particularly De La Hoya and Mayweather.

“So many of the greats have a symbiotic relationship with the arena … it goes to the relationships they have with the venue and the leadership,” including former MGM executive Richard Sturm and longtime employees, Executive Director of Public Relations Scott Ghertner and Director of Public Relations Katharine Sherrer. 

The walls are adorned with large tributes to the great bouts, including Manny Pacquiaop retiring De La Hoya in the “dream match,” and Mayweather unleashing an instant punch on referee Joe Cortez’s break to knock out Victor Ortiz, which led to the unforgettable post-fight interview between HBO’s Larry Merchant and Mayweather.

A stacked Don King-promoted card, “The rematches,” is considered one of the deepest cards in boxing history.

De La Hoya donated seven robes to the collection, including his bout against Mayweather, which was then the most successful pay-per-view of all time.

Fight lockers and ring ropes are also set up, linking the fighter’s sober, private final moments before battle to that powerful scene of the first bell when the combatants step toward each other.

“It takes nerves of steel,” Preston said.

As for the record-setting Mayweather-Pacquiao bout that achieved a record 4.6m pay-per-view buys and generated more than $600 million in revenue, Preston recalls the arena selling out for the weigh-in, the amount of broadcast crews that required accommodation and “the city being electric.”

What’s it like when a major fight week ends?

“What’s next?” Preston said, laughing. “When you achieve something like (Mayweather-Pacquiao), you’re only as good as your last fight. It was epic. And there was only one place it could be.”

Many fight programs were also featured, reminding of how the anticipation grips fans, including with Saturday’s card featuring the WBA lightweight title defense by unbeaten Gervonta “Tank” Davis against Frank Martin and unbeaten David Benavidez meeting former light-heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

The mystery of what will transpire is the constant, like that 2012 bout when Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Pacquiao coldly to end their remarkable, action-packed four-fight series.

So many “grand” memories. Preston admitted it was difficult to weed through the collectibles to select which would be placed in the shrine.

One is the ring bell.

“How many times have you heard that? We’ve estimated 25,000 times this bell has rung,” Preston said.

“It is special, because every fight is different. You can’t know the outcome. You’re doing your best to provide the best entertainment, to meet the needs of the respective fight camps … there’s so many moving parts. It’s just … fun.”