LAS VEGAS: Floyd Mayweather swaggered into the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) with a jab for Manny Pacquiao for failing to join him in launching the final build up to their blockbuster bout.
“So many different sponsors and networks came together to make this big event happen—I think we both should have been here,” Mayweather said after Pacquiao opted out of the event at the fight’s host venue.
The Filipino icon instead feted fans down the street at Mandalay Bay. The several hundred who attended his rally were far outnumbered by the thousands who turned out for Mayweather.
Mayweather, who brings an unblemished record of 47-0 to Saturday’s welterweight world title showdown, didn’t disappoint.
A hip-hop master of ceremonies and a university marching band kept the crowd entertained until Mayweather’s arrival at the MGM in a glistening black van emblazoned with a white “M” logo.
The crowd cheered as the video of the vehicle gliding to the curb played on a giant screen and Mayweather emerged.
Shortly thereafter he was walking the short red carpet to the stage, pausing for a handful of hugs and selfies.
“Everybody that’s in this arena is the Money Team,” he declared to cheers from the crowd.
The brief appearance was done with all the smoothness expected from the highest paid sportsman in the world.
But in remarks to a select group of media after, Mayweather sounded as if he’s going into what promises to be the most lucrative boxing match in history with a chip on his shoulder.
“I think the bar is always set higher for Floyd Mayweather,” he said. “It’s always set a little bit different than everybody else. If I didn’t show up to the grand arrival it would be front page.”
But Mayweather said he didn’t really get caught up in the theatrics of the event.
After a solid training camp, he doesn’t believe Pacquiao, winner of world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions who owns a record of 57-5 with two drawn, will be the first to put a blemish on his record.
“I truly believe I’m the smarter fighter,” Mayweather said reiterating his oft-expressed belief that Pacquiao’s “reckless” style could land him in trouble.
Certainly he doesn’t believe that a hard-charging start by Pacquiao could be a path to victory for the underdog Filipino.
“I think everybody’s game plan is to come forward and throw a lot of punches,” he said of his opponents. “It hasn’t worked for 19 years—47 fights it hasn’t worked.”