- Fight fans, the big one is finally here. – (SportsNetwork.com) - Fight fans, the big one is finally here.
The time has come for Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. to put his sterling record on the line for what has become one of the most anticipated fights in boxing history.
Manny Pacquiao will be standing in Mayweather's way Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the mega-fight that boxing enthusiasts have desired for years.
What's at stake?
Mayweather's WBC and WBA welterweight titles as well as Pacquiao's WBO welterweight belt -- along with a prosperous purse that the two will split.
During their first press conference in early March, Mayweather called the matchup "the fight of the century."
On Wednesday, in the final press conference before Saturday's fight, Mayweather took it a step higher.
"This is the biggest fight in boxing history," Mayweather said.
Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), the pound-for-pound star, has withstood some tough competition over the years as this fight slowly materialized.
After a controversial fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz in September 2011, Mayweather has gone the distance in each of his last five fights. He followed the Ortiz knockout with a unanimous decision over current WBC middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto, then had no trouble dispatching challenger Robert Guerrero.
The road would get more difficult for Mayweather, who defeated then-unbeaten Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in a majority decision before capturing successive wins over Marcos Maidana.
Maidana was game to dethrone Mayweather, even making decent contact at times over his two bouts, but he couldn't manage to overcome one of boxing's best defensive fighters.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), who is ranked No. 3 on the Ring's pound-for-pound list behind Mayweather and heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, faced some adversity during Mayweather's recent string of success.
"Pac Man" was riding a 15-fight winning streak when he suffered consecutive losses to Timothy Bradley Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley edged Pacquiao by the slimmest of margins in a split decision in June 2012, but it was his knockout loss at the hands of Marquez that had many doubting Saturday's fight would ever happen.
Over the years, rumors and hearsay were all analysts and boxing fans had regarding a possible matchup between the two future Hall of Famers. Whether it was monetary disputes or anticipated drug testing for their fight contract, Mayweather and Pacquiao are finally ready to put all that aside and set the record straight on Saturday.
"Our goal on Saturday is to give the fans satisfaction and make them happy," said Pacquiao on Wednesday. "Floyd and I both are working hard to entertain you on Saturday. That's the most important thing, nothing personal. Just doing our job. He will do his best on Saturday and I will do my best on Saturday and we will put our names in boxing history."
The two fighters are expected to split around $300 million when all is said and done, with Mayweather taking 60 percent of the purse. According to Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter and CEO of Top Rank, the winner will receive $10.2 million and the loser will take home $9.8 million.
Most of the revenue that is headed Mayweather and Pacquiao's way will come from potential record pay-per-view sales. In what is expected to be the largest grossing fight in boxing history, the meeting between the two stars is sure to break the Mayweather-Alvarez fight that set a record with $153 million in PPV revenue.
One thing is certain: the long awaited matchup between two titans of their sport will finally be decided in front of record numbers around the world.