Ready for boxing history, Mayweather, Pacquiao weigh below limit

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao pose during their weigh-in on Friday, May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas. The world weltherweight title fight between Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao is scheduled for May 2. AP Photo/John Locher

LAS VEGAS - The atmosphere at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday afternoon (Saturday morning in Manila) was like no other.

People lined up as early as before noon waiting to get inside the venue to become part of boxing history. They coughed up an extra $10 to $120 for a ticket to an event that's supposed to be free.

Only this was no ordinary event.

Thousands trooped to the arena to witness the official weigh-in ceremony for the megabuck showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, an event that would go down as the sports' richest ever.

It was the first time in history that attendance to a weigh-in event came at a price. Nevertheless, promoters said the tickets - the sales of which will go to charity - were sold out.

In a preview of what's about to happen on fight day Saturday (Sunday in Manila), fans of both fighters tried their mighty best to outcheer each other and rally for their bets. Many waved flags and signs and sported outfits that clearly indicated their allegiance.

They roared when Pacquiao's highlights were shown on the large screen. Those of Mayweather, who's based here and should've benefitted from a hometown crowd, was met with boos. Pacquiao's fans were clearly outcheering their counterparts.

The Filipino icon emerged from the dugout to raucous cheers, waving to the crowd. He sported a red hoodie with his "MP" logo emblazoned on it. Mayweather, the promotion's A-side fighter, followed, but was met with a mixture of cheers and boos.

Both men have done their part in making sure they're armed and ready for this historic fight. Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight champion, was the first to tip the scales, which read 145 pounds - two under the welterweight limit (147 pounds).

He confidently flexed his ripped body, and the crowd again responded with cheers.

On the other hand, it was still more jeers for Mayweather - the WBC and WBC welterweight titlist - who at 146 pounds also weighed in below the maximum allowed.

The superstars have a day to gain additional pounds. And by fight day, it will be Mayweather's superb boxing skills and ring smarts against Pacquiao's speed, power and ferocity.

The Fight of the Century - about five years in the making - is finally upon us.

Mayweather and Pacquiao then posed for the customary staredown. The fighting congressman was then asked about his foe's almost two-inch advantage in height.

"I'm used to fighting bigger guys like [Oscar] Dela Hoya, [Miguel] Cotto and Antonio [Margarito]," Pacquiao told HBO analyst Max Kellerman in an interview onstage. "It [Mayweather's] height doesn't matter to me."

A composed Mayweather, for his part, didn't say anything he hadn't said before in the weeks leading to the superfight, still expressing confidence that he'll notch his 48th victory and stay undefeated.

"I'm ready," said Mayweather.

So, too, are the millions around the world.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Mayweather vs Pacquiao's special coverage of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is made possible by Philippine Airlines.

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