Inside Mayweather-Pacquiao: Foreman recalls Rumble; Holyfield auctions seat; huge TV crew; TBT Manny and Floyd
What is being called as the "Fight of the Century" between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the two champions will face-off on May 2nd in what some predict will be the highest grossing fight in history. Here is a look back on some of the most talked about match-ups of all time.
George Foreman was in a few big fights in his time, including one he'd rather forget against Muhammad Ali.
He sees some similarities to the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle when he thinks about Floyd Mayweather Jr. taking an unbeaten mark into the ring against Manny Pacquiao.
"It brought back old memories I thought I'd put to rest," Foreman said. "Especially with the big fight with Muhammad Ali in Zaire and what it felt to be the one guy who knows what it's all about to be undefeated and fighting for the championship of the world with a guy who has been beaten more than once."
Foreman was undefeated and a huge favorite against Ali, who scored one of the most memorable upsets in boxing history when he stopped Foreman in the eighth round of their title fight.
"I've been knocked off the pedestal,'' Foreman said. ``I've been a fighter who's been defeated."
Foreman believes Mayweather might find out that feeling Saturday night when he meets Pacquiao in boxing's richest fight ever.
"I think Mayweather will come on late but because it starts slow it will be too later," Foreman said. "If you're looking for some good judging, this will be won by Manny Pacquiao by a single point."
Evander Holyfield scored the biggest win of his career in the MGM Grand arena when he beat Mike Tyson in 1996, returning to the same arena the next year to beat Tyson in the infamous "Bite Fight."
The former heavyweight champion will be an interested spectator Saturday night when he educates a fan about the finer points of Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Holyfield auctioned off a seat on the floor next to him at the fight on behalf of CharityVision, an organization that fights blindness in developing countries. It brought a $40,100 winning bid from an unnamed winner.
" should have good seats,'" Holyfield said. "The winner can sit with the Real Deal and anything he wants to ask I will tell him how it is from my perspective."
Holyfield said he wasn't picking a winner in the fight, but was happy both were getting big paydays.
"I know Pacquiao is going to fight the same way but I don't know who is going to be the strongest when it happens," he said. "Everybody says Tyson hits hard but what happened when he hits someone like me and I don't go anywhere? I see the same sort of thing here in this fight."
he purses aren't the only thing big about the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight.
The broadcasting team for the pay-per-view will be bursting at the seams.
HBO and Showtime, which are teaming together to broadcast the fight, are fielding a combined crew of a dozen on-air personalities to share the duties Saturday night from the MGM Grand hotel arena.
HBO's Jim Lampley will do the blow-by-blow, with analysis from Showtime's Al Bernstein. Roy Jones Jr. will also be ringside as a color commentator, while Jim Gray will interview Mayweather and report from his dressing room and Max Kellerman will do the same for Pacquiao.
The unofficial scorers will be HBO's Harold Lederman and Showtime's Steve Farhood, while Jim Brown, Paulie Malignaggi and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will host the broadcast from an upstairs booth.
Finally, Michael Buffer will be the ring announcer for Pacquiao and Jimmy Lennon Jr. will do the honors for Mayweather. So fans will get both Buffer's "Let's get ready to rumble," and Lennon's "It's ... showtime!"
It's Throwback Thursday, so let's dip into the archives for some old images of the combatants in this weekend's megafight.
Long before both spent time in Nevada jails, a young Floyd Mayweather Jr. and O.J. Simpson posed together before the Evander Holyfield-John Ruiz heavyweight title fight in 2001.
Pacquiao has been in Congress in the Philippines since 2010, but he's been a favorite of politicians for a lot longer. From 2006, here is a 119-pound Pacquiao, about 30 pounds lighter, posing with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.