FLOYD MAYWEATHER AND MANNY PACQUIAO
LOS ANGELES PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS
SATURDAY, MAY 2, AT THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS
LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
Click HERE For Photos From Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Click HERE For Photos From Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions
Click HERE For Photos From Chris Farina/Top Rank
LOS ANGELES – (March 13, 2015) – Befitting the unprecedented nature of this mega-fight, a bout that is expected to be the richest in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were given the royal treatment Wednesday at a gala press conference at Nokia Theatre at LA Live.
A glitzy, Hollywood–style red carpet-comparable to that of Hollywood’s biggest award shows-was rolled out to welcome the fighters and afford access to more than 700 credentialed media members from around the world. Among the formidable press core were dozens of television and radio crews and literally hundreds of newspaper columnists, boxing writers, and news, entertainment and sports reporters. Even the Goodyear Blimp flew above to mark the occasion as the top-two fighters of this generation, Mayweather and Pacquiao, went face-to-face for the first time prior to their epic welterweight world championship unification bout Saturday, May 2, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc., the pay-per-view telecast will be co-produced and co-distributed by SHOWTIME PPV® and HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
Here are what participants from Wednesday’s press conference had to say:
“This fight could’ve happened a long time ago, but it’s the right time now. It’s an unbelievable matchup and I know the fans can’t wait for this. The timing is right and the timing is now.
“We finally made it happen. Everything is about timing.
“There was no resentment towards (former promoter) Bob Arum, I was just happy to become my own boss after years of working hard and dedicating myself to boxing and also learning the business side of it. With time, I eventually had to become my own boss. There are no hard feelings towards Bob Arum at all.
“It’s always good to see the best fight the best, that’s what’s so intriguing about this matchup.
“I think that us meeting after the Miami Heat basketball game, meeting one-on-one, I feel that that is the reason why this fight happened.
“It really came down to my team and his team sitting down and communicating, getting on the same page basically.
“There is no sense of relief that the fight is made. My focus is just on living my daily life and focusing on what I have to do. I can’t live my life for anyone else.
“We have faced all the top guys in this sport and have beaten all the top guys. After this fight, which I believe I will be victorious, then we will move on to another guy.
“May 2 we have a tough task ahead of me. Manny Pacquaio is a good fighter, but last time I checked I faced eight southpaws and won eight times, so I am not worried.
“You best believe that I will be in top shape and be the best Floyd Mayweather I can possibly be.
“It’s always great to get back to the great city of Las Vegas. Lights, camera, action. The MGM Grand is the best hotel on earth. It was always my goal to be fighting there. The first time I went there for a fight was when I was 17, I saw James Toney and Roy Jones.
“I have had an unbelievable career. It all started with my father. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today. When you put all the pieces to the puzzle together, I just feel like I’m the center piece. Every day when I think about my career I don’t regret anything. We will go down in history as some of the best fighters, the fighting Mayweathers.
“I hope the fight meets the hype. All we can do as fighters is go out there and perform and do what we do best.
“I have nothing to prove on May 2. I know about my skills, I know what I can do and I know what I bring to the sport of boxing. I am truly blessed to have broken all the records in boxing. Right now I don’t see any particular fighter breaking any of my records.
“I think that styles make fights, and I think that our two different styles make for an exciting fight.
“Any fighter is dangerous. When I face different opponents, I can figure a guy out instantly. I know what he does well and what he doesn’t do well. My job is to find out what he does do well.
“If a fighter lost before, losing is in the back of his mind. For me, all I’ve done in my career is win, so winning is always in my mind.
“How much money I’m making really isn’t my focus. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for all the writers and media outlets. I am thankful for each person, whether it was a good story or bad story. For 19 years, you guys kept me relevant. As far as the money persona, it really has reinvented itself. I was ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ and then I come back as Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. It’s all about reinventing yourself. I want to continue making smart investments so my grandkids are OK.
” I always have the remedy to do what I have to do to come out on top.
“I’m pretty sure my father has a great game plan so we can go out there and do what we do best. Our game plan is to be smart, be first, take our time and get the job done.
“I think that Manny Pacquaio is a very interesting fighter. For him to get to where he is now, it’s obvious that he has had to do something right.
“No one should have been waiting until I became 47-0 to bet on me, they should’ve been betting on me from the beginning.”
“I am so happy that this fight has been made, and I know that boxing fans feel the same way.
“In Miami we talked about the fight and I understood that I was the B side and he was the A side.
“I believe that this fight has been well worth the wait. More people are familiar with us as fighters, even people who aren’t fans of boxing know about this fight.
“All the Filipino people are going to watch this fight.
“Training camp is going well. We are very happy. I am updating my training each day on my Instagram.
“I like being the underdog going into a fight. It has been a while since I’ve been one. This time around it gives me much more motivation and I am determined to prove that I can win.
“This fight is very important to me and in boxing history. We don’t want to leave a question mark in the mind of boxing fans. Boxing fans have been eager to see this fight for five years. They have been asking me the same question and it is finally happening.
“I keep fighting because boxing is my passion, I love boxing. I have been able to help my family through boxing.
“The Filipino people are very excited for this fight and I can’t wait to bring a victory to the country.
“I don’t want to judge, but I am very confident about this fight. I was more worried about my fights against [Oscar] De La Hoya, [Antonio] Margarito and [Miguel] Cotto, than I am with fighting Floyd Mayweather.
“Pleasing the fans is the most important thing to me; I want to make them happy. I get emotional sometimes in the ring because I just want to make them happy.
“I don’t get discouraged anymore with a loss in boxing. It is a part of the game and I have taken the losses and have made myself a better fighter. It’s about building yourself up and turning yourself into a better fighter.
“I will win May 2.”
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions:
“We are very excited to making history today by officially announcing the biggest fight in the history of boxing and one of the biggest events in the history of sports.
“I would like to recognize the role that Floyd and Manny had in making this fight. The meeting that they had in Miami was a major milestone and I would personally like to thank Floyd for making it happen.
“Over the years Floyd has made the MGM Grand his home and they have gone above and beyond to ensure the highest quality for every Floyd event. This will be Floyd’s 11th consecutive fight at the MGM Grand and the 14th time that he will have fought there in his career.
“Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is a tremendous fight between two great champions and two great men. May 2 will be a spectacle unlike anything that Las Vegas has ever seen before.”
Bob Arum, Founder and CEO of Top Rank:
“It started when Les Moonves [chairman of CBS] came to my house. He visited me on a couple of occasions to tell me that he wanted to make this fight happen. He wanted me to go to Manny [Pacquiao] and discuss with him the purse that would be acceptable.
“We had frequent dialogue. I felt confident that it was going to happen because Moonves would do whatever he could to make this happen.
“It wasn’t until the basketball game in Miami where Manny was convinced that Floyd wanted the fight.
“It was probably the most difficult fight to make that I’ve been a part of. It took five years to make.
“One thing is clear; it’s the biggest fight of this century.
“I have no animosity with Floyd Mayweather. Floyd has always remained a good friend; I have nothing whatsoever bad to say about Floyd as a person.
“I love Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach. When Manny wins on May 2, which I’m sure he will, I will have a great deal of satisfaction for the both of them. They will have done the work to make it happen.
“Floyd’s style is really fit to fight a right-handed fighter. The southpaws that he has fought have given him problems and he has risen above, but the southpaws he fought in the past aren’t Manny Pacquiao.
“This fight is going to bring tremendous revenue to all of Las Vegas. I would’ve been put in a terrible position if I would’ve tried to move this fight out of Las Vegas, as I am a resident. Truly, the fight belongs in Las Vegas. Thousands and thousands of people will pour into Las Vegas just to be a part of the scene. This will be the biggest event in the history of Las Vegas.”
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s Trainer:
“I think that Floyd had a better chance of beating Manny Pacquiao five years ago than he does now. Floyd’s legs are more shot now and he has slowed down quite a bit. I think we can take advantage of that.
“Floyd says that he wants to exchange with fighters more now to make it a more exciting fight, but I think that isn’t true. He doesn’t care about the fans at all and the only reason he has to exchange more is because his legs won’t take him out of the fight.
“If Floyd has to exchange with Manny Pacquiao I think that’s good for us and that’s why I think we’re going to win this fight.
“I think that this fight will change the game of boxing.
“Manny called me up and told me that he can’t train in the Philippines because it’s too crazy with all the fans there, he can’t focus.
“I have a rule in training camp this time that if you aren’t being productive in the gym for training, then you can’t be around. The strategy of this fight is very important and different from past fights. We can’t have any spies in the gym; we are just working on the game plan and focusing on what Floyd is doing. I know how Floyd sets up people and makes them walk into shots.
“Manny is very motivated for this fight. You have to take Floyd out of his confidence zone. Manny knows how to beat him. We will make the right move before we attack him.
“I wanted to have some young, upcoming fighters as sparring partners for Manny. There are young fighters from Chicago, Massachusetts and Finland who are coming in to spar with Manny. Their styles are perfect fits for Manny. They may get knocked out and sent home, but we’ll see. I have all the sparring partners lined up.
“Our game plan is to win every round. If we get the knockout, then that’s just a bonus. Floyd will dip into Manny’s power. That’s the mistake that someone will make against a southpaw. We have to win the first round and take Floyd out of his comfort zone.”
Richard Sturm, President Entertainment & Sports MGM Resorts International:
“We are thrilled that this fight has come to fruition and that it will be held at MGM Grand. The resort is home to the biggest names in sports and entertainment and on May 2 we will host one of the greatest fights the sport will have ever seen.
“Over the years, both Floyd and Manny have treated fans inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena and those watching on PPV to a thrilling fight experience. While their previous fights have been extremely exciting, we believe there is nothing that can compare to the spectacle these two champions will deliver on May 2.”
Ken Hershman, President HBO Sports:
“Over the next few months, the fans, pundits and writers will break down every aspect of this fight.
“I would like to look back and appreciate how we got here. It was 2001 when a young kid out of the Philippines named Manny Pacquaio made his HBO debut. Coincidentally, the headliner of the fight was Floyd Mayweather. Floyd made his HBO debut in 1997 and since then he has fought on HBO or HBO PPV 26 times.
“While these two have never shared a card again before May 2, they’ve each gone on to have Hall of Fame careers and have become the two biggest fighters of their generation. Floyd has headlined nine HBO PPV events and Manny 17 HBO PPV events. Those 26 events have compiled over 21 million PPV buys and over a billion dollars in revenue.
“On May 2, these two superstars will participate in what we all know will be the single largest boxing event of all time.
“We are proud to one again be making history on May 2 with Mayweather and Pacquiao.”
Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports:
“When Floyd Mayweather signed his historic deal with SHOWTIME two years ago, he promised us two things: one, he would be fighting more often and; two, each of the six fights under his deal would be the biggest events possible against the best opponents possible. Fast forward two years, and Floyd has kept every word of his promises.
“Now for just the second time in five fights with SHOWTIME, Floyd is fighting an opponent that many people thought he’d never fight. SHOWTIME PPV and Floyd set a PPV record with the first event in September 2013 and we look forward to another record-breaking performance on May 2.
“SHOWTIME has been involved in some of the biggest PPV events in history including Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson in 2002 and Mayweather vs. Canelo [Alvarez] in 2013. But neither of those events have generated the type of excitement and anticipation in media attention that matches the hysteria that this fight has already generated.
“This is the reason that all of us at SHOWTIME and CBS are so proud to be bringing this fight together. Excited, proud, thrilled, those are some of the countless adjectives to describe our feelings about this event, but surprised is not one of them. As soon as we closed our deal with Floyd in 2013, the Pacquiao fight was a top priority both for Floyd and for us.
“Whenever it was time to discuss a Mayweather opponent, Manny Pacquiao was always high on Floyd’s list.
“As the CEO of CBS and a longtime boxing fan, Leslie Moonves was the driving force behind this deal and the primary reason why this fight was made.
“We know that Floyd is the consensus number one fighter in the sport, we know that Floyd is the most talked about athlete in all of sports and together with Floyd Mayweather, SHOWTIME has become the number one PPV distributer in television. We look forward to breaking more records and making more history on May 2.”
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For more information visit www.mayweatherpromotions.com, www.toprank.com, www.SHO.com/Sports,www.hbo.com/boxing and www.mgmgrand.com and follow on Twitter at @floydmayweather, @MannyPacquiao @mayweatherpromo, @TRBoxing, @SHOSports, @HBOboxing and @Swanson_Comm, and become a fan on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/FloydMayweather, www.facebook.com/TopRankMannyPacquiao www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotions, www.facebook.com/TRBoxing, www.facebook.com/SHOsports andwww.facebook.com/HBOBoxing.
CONTACTS: Kelly Swanson/Lisa Milner, Swanson Communications/Floyd Mayweather: (202) 783-5500
Nicole Craig, Mayweather Promotions: (702) 807-1788
Lee Samuels, Top Rank: (702) 378-1083
Ricardo Jimenez, Top Rank: (909) 615-3436
Fred Sternburg, Top Rank/Manny Pacquiao: (303) 740-7746
Chris DeBlasio, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-1633
Matt Donovan, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-1663
Flo Jocou, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-7319
Kevin Flaherty, HBO Sports: (212) 512-5052
Patrick Byrne, HBO Sports: (212) 512-1361
John Beyrooty/Jared Kaufer, BZA/SHOWTIME: (562) 233-7477/(818) 621-1111
Scott Ghertner, MGM Resorts International: 702-692-6750
Media Credentials: www.magnamedia.com (beginning Monday, March 16)