Manny Pacquiao’s controversial split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday led to outbursts of unruly fan behavior rarely seen at Las Vegas title fights.
Unhappy fans took out their frustration at MGM Grand Garden by tossing beer bottles and soft drinks at the ring. Several media members tweeted they were hit.
After the fight, a tense situation developed when pro-Marquez fans recognized Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, on his way to the press conference and jeered him with epithets and shouts that he “stole the fight.”
The 80-year-old Arum, accompanied by a security guard, had just left the arena floor via an escalator and had to walk through a corridor filled with departing fans.
At the front of our group was Yahoo.com’s boxing and MMA columnist Kevin Iole, whose back was soaked from drinks that struck him at a media table.
The heated confrontation bothered Arum enough that he brought it up during the press conference, saying Marquez’s fans “wanted to lynch me.”
Veteran Associated Press sports columnist Tim Dahlberg, who confirmed he was hit in the back by a half-full aluminum beer bottle, said it was one of the wilder scenes he’s witnessed during his 32 years of covering boxing.
“I’ve seen a lot of things happen at fights but I don’t remember getting hit by a pretty stout beer,” said the Las Vegas-based Dahlberg, who scored the fight a draw, as did Iole.
The crowd, predominantly Marquez fans, loudly booed the judges’ decision, drowning out Pacquiao’s post-fight interview.
“It was a very passionate crowd on both sides,” said Dahlberg.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Dan Lea, longtime KKLZ-FM deejay and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s drag strip announcer and videographer, died Sunday. Lea, who produced “This Week At LVMS,” had undergone cancer surgery earlier this month.
At the Pacquiao-Marquez fight: Mike Tyson, Magic Johnson, Evander Holyfield, Charles Barkley, comedians Dave Chapelle and Tracy Morgan, Jeremy Piven, Mario Lopez, Steve Buscemi, Jalen Rose, Reggie Miller, Stephen Moyer, Armie Hammer, Roy Jones Jr., Victor Ortiz, Willie McGinest, Erik Morales and Star Jones. Green Day members were in Pacquiao’s dressing room before the fight. … Buscemi, who stars in “Boardwalk Empire,” with friends at Surrender (Encore) on Saturday. … Barkley and Miller, at XS (Encore). … “Extra” anchor Maria Menounos, performing at Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Saloon at Gallery (Planet Hollywood Resort). … Rapper Nelly, celebrating his 37th birthday for the second night in a row at Marquee (Cosmopolitan) with Carl Crawford of the Boston Red Sox. Also at Marquee: Shawne Merriman, DeShawn Stevenson of the Dallas Mavericks, Kurt Thomas of the Chicago Bulls and Holly Madison. … Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, celebrated his 32nd birthday as the host of the Baller’s Ball. … Kevin Jonas, celebrating his 24th birthday with his wife, Danielle, and brother Joe at Chateau (Paris). … “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki”Polizzi, celebrating her 24th birthday at LAX (Luxor) with family and friends. … Dining at Sugar Factory American Brasserie (Paris): TV legend Jerry Springer.
THE PUNCH LINE
“I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.” — GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, delivering David Letterman’s “Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses” for a poor debate performance last week
Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.