By Jackie Kallen
Now that the arena has been cleaned up, most of the fans have gone home, and the fighters have carted off their mega checks—it’s quiet here in Las Vegas. But there’s still a lot of talk about Saturday night’s fight. Was it truly the “Fight of the Century?” Maybe not. But it certainly was the event of the year.
Surprisingly, the crowd was controlled and orderly. No shootings, riots, or misbehaving fans. Just a lot of people hoping for a good fight and not totally unhappy with the results. Manny didn’t embarrass himself. Floyd did what he always does. The fight went the distance. Everyone got their money’s worth. (No pun intended.)
As for Manny’s alleged shoulder problem, no one heard a word about it until AFTER the fight. It sounds like a good way to set up a rematch. But rumor is that there “ain’t gonna be no rematch.” So we’ll all wait and see how this story unfolds in the months to come. Floyd says he is only fighting one more time. I wouldn’t necessarily bet money on that.
The best part of the night was star-gazing. This was like the Oscars and the Emmys together with some sports stars and other celebs thrown in for color. Where else could you see Justin Bieber and Rev. Jesse Jackson at the same event?
Young Hollywood and old Hollywood mixed together. The seniors were represented by Clint Eastwood, Jon Voight, Michael Keaton, Robert DeNiro and others of the same ilk. Lots of Academy Award winner strolling around. And then there was the hip, young crowd: Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Wahlberg, Live Schrieber, Louis CK. Aldo roaming around: Don Cheadle, Denzel, Clair Danes, Paris Hilton, Vern Troyer, etc.
The music world was well represented, also. Can’t beat Jay Z and Beyonce for star power. Also on the scene: Sting, Mary J Blige, Rihanna, P Diddy, Doug E Fresh, Flo Rider, and many more.
On the sports side, Tom Brady rubbed elbows with Magic Johnson. Andre Agassi, Evander Holyfield, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Charles Barkley, and dozens of boxing champions. There was a billion dollars of talent in the MGM Gardens Arena.
Perhaps the fight could never have been more exciting than the hype and the crowd. Unless the beloved Manny Pacquaio knocked out the mighty Floyd Mayweather, it was exactly as most predicted—a decision. Some fans thought it was closer than the judges saw it. But the fact is: Mayweather won.
The Mayweather haters will hate him even more. Manny’s loyal fans will stand behind him no matter what the future brings. The Mayweather fans will continue bragging that their man is the greatest of all time, and the Pacquaio detractor will say he is washed up. But if there is a Mayweather/Pacquaio II, certain fans will still go. But I doubt the prices would be anywhere near what they were for this fight.
One thing is for sure. Nothing is for sure in boxing. Stay tuned.