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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Two giants face off in Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

May 2, 9:00 p.m. at the MGM Grand  Garden arena in Las Vegas: the arena starts to dim and then fades to a pitch black. The crowd roars with excitement.

As the sea of flashes from cameras go off like glistening stars that speckle the floor, the real stars are about to illuminate the stage.

“Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to rumble?” famous ring announcer Michael Buffer’s voice blares as the event commences.

The crowd now screams with an explosive sense of anticipation. The scene glaring from the arena comes straight to your TV screen if you paid the $99 for pay-per-view.

The total purse for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight could reach up to $300 million. Mayweather will receive 60 percent of that amount and Pacquiao 40 percent no matter the result. ESPN reported that The MGM Grand Arena will be making $74 million as part of the live gate alone, and as a part of the whole package the fight is projected to make over $400 million.

The price tag seems to fit with the nickname Floyd “Money” Mayweather. Mayweather is undefeated in his 47 career bouts as well as the world’s richest athlete. He fights like a chameleon, adapting to whatever fighter he is thrown against, but is also a man of jaguar-like speed.

“In the mind of a Floyd Mayweather, he actually has more fans than anyone else because he sells tickets,” said Part-time Lecturer in Music Atiba Rorie. “Even if they hate you, but they pay for that pay-per-view that night, they are a fan.

“On a cultural level as an African-American male, to do what he has with what he as … Dude has an eighth grade education. He is rich and got rich off his business decisions. He has no endorsements, he has no advertisements.”

On the other side of the ring, Manny Pacquiao has a fan base that believes not just in his skill but his destiny.

He presents himself as a devout  Christian and family man and is a congressman in the Philippines who has possible hopes of running for president. With an all-time record of 57–5, he is the first boxer ever to defeat seven world champions. His fighting style is a combination of fiery strikes and scrappy aggression.

Vegas betting odds predict Mayweather has a 60 percent chance of victory.

“There were rumors, you know, that Pacquiao is just going to lose the fight (because of betting not in his favor),” said sophomore Delsio Cassoma. “It’s all about the money. Did you see how many times Mayweather ran away from the fight?”

One reason this is the most acclaimed fight of the century is because there were talks of a fight almost six years ago, and Mayweather backed out multiple times. The reasons for the fight not happening are more difficult than speculations about the fighters.

Mayweather has a six-fight contract with ShowTime, and Pacquiao has a two-year contract with HBO. Both networks had to work together in order to make this fight even happen.

The climactic battle between these two fighters finishing is more than just about them as athletes but about each of the images they present. The beautiful combination of these boxers skills and reputations have struck a chord with their fans.

“Mayweather is greatest fighter I have ever seen,” said sophomore Jose Narciso. “It’s about health. When Mayweather gets old you know he’s not going to be shaking and stuff like Muhammad Ali. Mayweather in the ring is smart.

“Not only is he smart in the ring but outside too. He brought himself out with money and girls and rappers. He made himself the bad boy. You know it’s a bad thing, but it’s helped his career.”

“What about the kids watching, man?” said sophomore Yves Dusenge, a fan of Pacquiao. “Look at Pacquiao, he’s all about family. Pacquio doesn’t do all those things … Mayweather works hard but the image he puts on, man.”

Both fans of Mayweather and Pacquiao are sucked  into the hype of this fight. The fighters have sustained this intensity, leading up to one moment.

If you are skeptical about the vigor that will be seen on May 2, talk to Guilford’s Director of the Friends Center and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies Max Carter, who used to watch boxing every Friday night growing up.

The world will be watching this match, as not only two of the most talented boxers fight to the finish but two cultures clash between the self-made Mayweather and the self-righteous Pacquiao.

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