May 5, 2007


Whirl awaits in Vegas: De La Hoya, Mayweather draw crowd at weigh-in (Kevin Paul Dupont, May 5, 2007, Boston Globe)

The single biggest event in the history of sports (OK, it's Vegas, and the hype can be, shall we say, intoxicating) finally takes center ring tonight at the MGM when Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. square off, the winner to rule the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the loser to be granted a can of OFF! and a map to one of Vermont's top-10 fishing holes. [...]

It took only three hours to sell out the Grand Garden Arena, totaling $19 million in seat money, and promoters remain confident that there could be as many as 2 million pay-per-view buys, at $55 each on HBO, for another cool $100 million-plus. De La Hoya could pocket upward of $30 million, and Mayweather, the favorite in this "World Awaits" battle, could carry home $12 million or more.

But it is boxing, the sport in which only two things are absolute -- that Don King 1. will never be lost for words and 2. will never be accused of a good hair day. The rest of it, much like a fight, is just sort of made up as they go along, until someone is counted out, lugged out, or laid out.

...on how many NFL players get arrested in Vegas this weekend?

This is Mayweather's break, too: Win or lose Saturday's title bout, he could use this public stage to start changing his image. (Bill Dwyre, May 5, 2007, LA Times)

There is a bigger opportunity for Floyd Mayweather Jr. than just winning a boxing match here tonight.

Right now, all that matters to him is whether he beats Oscar De La Hoya and, maybe, how. There is no other focus for Mayweather and his camp.

This is a huge payday, a moment when he is at the center of the boxing universe, when the ego strokes just keep coming. Finding perspective in the midst of all this is like finding a needle in a haystack.

For Mayweather, it has been nonstop. Constant media appearances, an HBO special, pictures of him and De La Hoya everywhere, some of them 40 feet high, snarling, smiling, smirking.

By 8:45 Friday morning, in the hallway leading to the MGM Grand Garden Arena, there were several thousand people lined up, waiting for the doors to open for the fight weigh-in. That was scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m., and the show was two men, standing on a scale in their underwear, for 20 seconds each.

Lost in all this is a chance for Mayweather to use this incredible public stage to start changing his image. Which is one of a jerk, a braggart, a hothead, a street punk. This can be achieved, win or lose.

Mayweather has been blessed in a way that hasn't occurred to him. He has spent time lately in the company of the perfect person to emulate: De La Hoya.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2007 7:07 AM
Comments for this post are closed.