Hollywood in Las Vegas

By Robert Ecksel on May 4, 2011
Hollywood in Las Vegas
Pacquiao and Mosley at MGM Grand's Hollywood Theatre (Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)

In a sport where trash talk, badmouthing, and unsubstantiated putdowns seem the norm, Pacquiao and Mosley are paragons of class…

The final press conference before Saturday’s pay-per-view title bout between WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and his challenger Shane Mosley was held Wednesday afternoon at MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theatre.

In a sport where trash talk, badmouthing, and unsubstantiated putdowns seem the norm, Pacquiao and Mosley are paragons of class. Neither spoke ill of his opponent. Both fighters showed the other the respect he deserves.

The presser was hosted by CBS sports personality James Brown. Other speakers included Bob Arum, head honcho at Top Rank, Ken Hershman of SHOWTIME, who’s broadcasting the PPV event, the inimitable Oscar Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, as well as the fighters, their trainers, and managers.

As befits a reigning world champion, Pacquiao was the first fighter to speak.

“It’s good to be back in Las Vegas. I miss being in Vegas for a big fight,“ he said. “There has not been trash talk for this fight, and I am happy for that. It sets a good example for the children who idolize fighters.

“I am looking forward to Saturday and making a good fight with Shane Mosley for the fans…Both of us have worked hard and had great training camps. We will both be doing our best, which should make for a lot of action and make the fans happy. I will be happy if this happens.

“All my life I’ve had to fight. As a child I had to fight to eat. Now when I fight, the Filipinos call me a hero. I think the world needs more heroes. My biggest fight is not in boxing. My biggest fight is to end poverty in my country. I will be wearing yellow gloves into the ring on Saturday – as a symbol of unity in the fight against poverty.’’

It was astonishing to hear someone who is not poor mention the “fight against poverty.” Can you imagine a congressman in this country mentioning…well, that’s the subject of another article.

Pacquiao‘s trainer, Freddie Roach, followed Manny to the dais. 

“I’m very proud of Manny and the training camp he just went through,” said Roach. “He said at the start that this was a tough fight and he has trained his butt off since day one. This is definitely a tough fight but Manny is 100 percent ready. We have a great team. I want to thank the entire camp for helping make this the best camp ever.

“Manny is in the best shape ever. He knows he has to be. We are facing a determined guy who is extremely crafty and experienced. We anticipate a sensational championship event this weekend and we know the fans in the sold-out arena and those watching on TV will witness a battle between two of the sport’s greatest champions.”

Mosley spoke next. He said that “Pacquiao is a short welterweight, but he’s not a small welterweight. He’s very powerful. This is like a Mike Tyson fight – we’re heavyweights out there. I’m looking to go out there, take charge and beat Manny Pacquiao.

“I don’t know [why I‘m the underdog but] that’s what the odds makers are saying. That’s fine with me. The main goal is to get the win and then we can talk about being an underdog. I don’t pay attention to that. I’ve been an underdog in a lot of my fights.

“I think living healthy and living clean, keeping myself active even when I’m not fighting [is what keeps me young]. I think that’s why I’m still able to do this. Maybe it’s good genetics, too. I still feel good, I still feel young. I feel like I could fight for years.

“I’m a great fighter, but I’m a regular person at heart.”

Mosley‘s trainer, the highly respected Naazim Richardson, said, “I’m very protective of my athletes. You have to protect them and look out for their best interests.

“We tend to overlook the high IQ that Shane has in boxing. It’s not about him trying to be like Pacquiao. This is a legend. This is Sugar Shane Mosley. He doesn’t have to be like Pacquiao. He has to be Sugar Shane Mosley. If he can be the best Sugar Shane Mosley then Manny Pacquiao is going to have problems.

“Shane Mosley is a great person,” said Richardson. “He just happens to know how to fight his ass off.”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Pilloch 02:39pm, 05/07/2011

    When two respected boxers give respect to each other outside and inside the ring and before and after a fight, it is the sport of boxing that gains the biggest respect. Manny and Shane are giving and showing us just that. May their tribe increase.

  2. carl 03:41pm, 05/05/2011

    $54 to watch it on pay-per-view.  Not cheap but I wanna see this fight.

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