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May 2, 2015, Queens, NY  He’s the “A” side on the billing but the “B” side in his own adopted hometown, Las Vegas, Nevada.  Floyd Mayweather was introduced during the weigh-in to a smattering of boos last night, that was not held in the Philippines, not in another Asian country, not in Des Moines, Iowa–but in Las Vegas, as in Nevada, where he has resided for nearly two decades.  You would think the fight was being held in the Philippines (think “Thrilla in Manilla, Ali-Frazier III) based on crowd reaction.  Manny Pacquiao was greeted and treated by the crowd of nearly 10,000, as the hometown hero.  The crowd cheered the diminutive Filipino who seemed to behave as if the weigh-in were a coronation.  Pacquiao waved, bowed, and blew kisses like a beloved warrior returning home after winning a medal of honor for heroic acts on the battlefield.  He smiled, appeared to be very relaxed, and exuded confidence, maybe even overconfidence, during the entire “ceremony.”

Mayweather was serious, focused, and probably a bit perturbed by the reaction.  He has helped to pump billions of dollars into the Las Vegas economy, yet he was treated as if he were the “foreigner.”  Strange indeed.  It was as if he were the “Stranger” in a “Strange” land.  Mayweather is not the most endearing athlete or celebrity that you’d meet, but darn, “Can’t a ‘boxer’ get a break?”  He was vilified this entire week for his domestic battery charges, and there seemed to be a movement afoot to boycott the pay-per-view extravaganza.

The real question is will Mayweather be the “B” side when it comes to the judges, especially if the fight is close.  If Mayweather loses a close decision and feels strongly that he won, there will undoubtedly be a rematch which would make Las Vegas extremely jubilant.  Extremely.  The secondary ticket market proved the pricing model of $1,500 for the nose-bleed seats and $7,500 for ringside was too low a price range.  According to StubHub, the most expensive ticket sold went for a whopping $40,955.  A highly anticipated rematch would probably place the top-tier seats in the range of $12,000 – $15,000 before that ticket was sold in the secondary market.

Mayweather has been the “B” side (meaning “Bad” Guy) because people will pay to see the “villain” lose.  He flaunts his money, cars, jewelry, houses, and clothing in a time when people still have the bruises from the recession.  Is he the “B” side because he’s “Brash”?  Is he the “B” side because he’s “Belligerent”?  Or is he the “B” side because he’s “Black”?  Probably a healthy dose of all the above and a few more.

Yesterday at the weigh-in, you could sense that Mayweather was taken aback by the reception he received.  For Pacquiao, this may be a bit of bad news.  Mayweather will probably use the “B” side (in this case, the “Boo side”) as fuel.  Mayweather has already claimed that he wants to win this fight more than any other, and the “jeers rather than the cheers” will serve to motivate him even further.

I think Mayweather will win a close decision (115-113) on the cards, even though in actuality, he’ll win at least eight rounds handily, and may win as many as ten.  Pacquiao and he will split the first four rounds, and then Mayweather will dominate the last two-thirds of the fight.  The fight will not be full of action, and Mayweather will tie Pacquiao up when he (Pacquiao) gets inside.  Kenny Bayless will probably allow Mayweather to hold somewhat excessively.  Pacquiao will have a few moments and may even stun Mayweather in the later rounds, but Mayweather will box, move, and hold to prevent a Pacquiao onslaught.  I see no rematch in sight.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at

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