LOS ANGELES — Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao promised plenty of action when the welterweight superstars meet May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in one of the most anticipated boxing matches in decades.
For the price of a ticket that night, they better bring it.
The prices were revealed Wednesday at the end of a news conference at the Nokia Theatre to officially announce the fight. The cheapest ticket will be $1,500, with ringside seats going for $7,500. There will be a limited public sale, but the date for the sale was not announced.
The price for the pay per view also will be announced at a later date.
“This fight is tremendous, and the interest is tremendous,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, who is Pacquiao’s longtime promoter and promoted Mayweather early in his career. “Is it the biggest fight of all time? That’s a silly question. You’re trying to compare eras, and I don’t know that you can. All I know is this is the biggest fight so far this century.”
When asked if the fight can live up to the hype, Mayweather said: “Hopefully. The only thing the fighters have to do is go out and perform and do what we do best.”
Pacquiao said: “I’ve been preparing in my mind for this fight for five years, and now I have the chance to execute what I’ve been planning.”
Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) looked relaxed in talking to reporters about the fight.
“It’s all about the best fighting the best,” he said. “My style and Manny’s style makes for a great fight. We want to be first and be smart in the ring. That’s how we prepare for every fight.”
Pacquiao, who is always at ease with the press, is settling into his prefight camp routine at trainer Freddie Roach’s gym in nearby Hollywood, Calif. He said it’s about taking advantage of a great opportunity to cement his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest.
“This fight is important for boxing history,” Pacquiao said. “We don’t want to leave a question mark in the minds of the fans.”
Both fighters said their meeting in Miami in late January during and after a Miami Heat basketball game was critical to the fight getting made.
“It really came down to my team and his team sitting down and communicating and being on the same page,” Mayweather said of the one-hour meeting at Pacquiao’s hotel room after the game. “After we talked, I thought we could do business.”
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) said he didn’t remember saying too much in that meeting.
“He said there’s got to be two sides — an ‘A’ side and a ‘B’ side,” Pacquiao said. “I told him I was OK being the ‘B’ side.”
He should be. It’s a 60-40 split for Mayweather, and with a live gate expected to top $50 million and record pay-per-view numbers expected, both fighters will do very well financially. Mayweather’s projected $120 million purse is likely to go up, as is the $80 million Pacquiao is expected to make.
Both fighters have begun training and say they’re happy with their work. Mayweather, who never lacks for confidence, said Pacquiao being a southpaw doesn’t worry him.
“We’ve got 10 different sparring partners in training camp,” Mayweather said. “We’ve got Zab Judah. We’ve got Chop Chop Corley. We’re preparing for many different looks.
“But last I checked, I fought eight southpaws and I’m still undefeated.”
Mayweather said he isn’t preparing any differently for Pacquiao than he would for any of his previous opponents.
“When I look at a fighter, I can figure out right away what he does good,” Mayweather said. “My challenge is to figure out Manny Pacquiao.”
Roach said: “I love challenges. And this is the biggest challenge of my life. We’re fighting the best fighter in the world, and we’re going to kick his ass.”
Roach said that unlike previous Pacquiao camps, he’s intent on keeping the distractions to a minimum. To prove his point, he booted comedian David Chappelle from the Wild Card Gym the other day.
“There were just a few of us in the gym, maybe five of us, and I asked Manny, ‘Don’t you like this better?’” Roach said. “I have a rule for this fight that if you’re a body in the gym and you’re not doing something, then get the (expletive) out.”
Of course, Mayweather’s father and trainer, Floyd Sr., couldn’t stay quiet Wednesday. He called Pacquiao “just another opponent,” and regarding Roach, he said, “Pfffft. What do you do with a Roach? You spray him.”
Both camps have been able to work together, and Arum sees no reason why that will change. To prove his point, he and Mayweather shook hands at the dais during the news conference, which was attended by more than 700 journalists.
“Why should it change?” Arum said. “The only ones who don’t need to get along are Pacquiao and Mayweather.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.