Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao Set the Stage for 'Fight of the Century'

The two welterweights meet officially for the first time Wednesday in preparation for their epic May 2 showdown

Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Even if you don’t care much about boxing, you’re probably going to care about this match.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao stood (almost!) toe-to-toe Wednesday to set the stage for what’s being billed as the sporting event of the century.

On May 2, the two welterweights will duke it out at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a pay-per-view event that’s already projected to rake in a record $300 million while irrevocably breaching the zeitgeist, all at the same time.

Tickets to the actual fight, which is sure to boast a star-studded turnout, will range from $1,500 to $7,000 – but that’s just the face value. The absolutely desperate fan is more likely to pay five or even six figures to watch the epic match-up.

“It’s been rare that worldwide attention focuses on a boxing match,” said the fight’s promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, at Wednesday’s news conference. “Believe me, the entire world will be watching.”

That’s not entirely hyperbole. At 38, Mayweather is not only undefeated with 47 wins and five division world championships, but he’s also considered the richest athlete in the world. And the Philippines-born Pacquiao, 36, has 57 victories and eight division world champions. Plus, he is a massive international and sentimental draw because of his rags-to-riches story.

“To the fans of boxing, I believe that this is what you are waiting for since five years ago,” Pacquiao told the hundreds of reporters who gathered in Los Angeles for the press conference. “The fight is on, and you’re very excited. Both of us are undergoing hard training for this fight, and we will do our best on May 2 to make you happy.”

Mayweather also promised the show of all shows.

“It’s been a long road, but we are here now,” he said. “On May 2, it will be fight of the century. It’s all about fighting the best, and Pacquiao is one of the best fighters of this era. Everything is about timing. We couldn’t chose a better time. This is the fight that the world can’t miss. I’m in the gym working right now, dedicating myself to the sport, pushing myself to the limit because I’ve never wanted to win a fight so bad in my life.”

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