Celebrities arriving for Mayweather-Pacquiao
LAS VEGAS–The crowd was mostly slow to get to its seats for the pay-per-view undercard portion of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s bout with Manny Pacquiao, but the red carpet was hopping.
Early-arriving celebrities included Denzel Washington, Jake Gyllenhaal, Don Cheadle, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Allison Janney, Diane Kruger, Joshua Jackson, Ben Schwartz, director Antoine Fuqua and a long list of boxing luminaries from Mike Tyson to Ruslan Provodnikov.
The biggest names will roll in later, and they probably won’t deign to walk the red carpet set up for the event. Boxing aficionado Jack Nicholson is expected, as is tough-guy aficionado Clint Eastwood. Even casino employees are waiting to see whether a few elusive A-listers such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Brady show up.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao card has just seven fights, but the joint promotion somehow managed to employ four ring announcers.
HBO and Showtime each wanted their respective signature voices on the shared broadcast, so Jimmy Lennon Jr. and Michael Buffer are sharing duties, with each introducing one main-event fighter. While Lennon and Buffer preserved their pipes for the big show, two other veteran ring announcers took care of the non-televised undercard bouts.
Lennon introduced the first fight on the pay-per-view show, welcoming Ukrainian featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko and Puerto Rican challenger Gamalier Rodriguez to the ring.
The stands are still mostly empty, which is a pity. Lomachenko is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Top Rank believes he’ll be a worldwide star soon.
The sun is going down on the Las Vegas Strip, and the first fans have filed into the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the undercard.
The casino has been buzzing with activity since morning, and the well-heeled boxing fans lucky enough to get a ticket are starting to fill up the stands. Thousands of people without tickets are milling around the entrances to the arena, hoping to glimpse anything interesting around boxing’s biggest fight in several years.
The early-arriving crowd even included Floyd Mayweather Sr., who sat quietly in the stands to watch a decision victory for Chris Pearson, a middleweight in the Mayweather promotional stable.
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