THE observant among you will have noticed the absence on our front cover of the countdown clock we have featured for a number of weeks. After 10 weeks or six years – depending on whether we start from when the match was agreed or the time it was first discussed – the Fight of the Century is here.
A surprisingly low-key build-up perhaps says it all: Floyd Mayweather’s Saturday showdown with Manny Pacquiao sells itself. It will be the most financially successful fight in boxing history, regardless of hype, controversy or salesmanship.
That fact is a relief also for this publication. Relieved of any perceived responsibility to market this match to the masses, we can focus on what we have traditionally done best: anticipating and documenting the biggest events in boxing history.
To that objective, and in addition to both our Mayweather-Pacquiao bookazine and dedicated micro-site – fightofthecentury.co.uk – we have stacked an extra eight pages (or 20 per cent for the salespeople out there) onto this issue and attempted to cover as many angles as possible.
So we have the big-fight preview of course, with our all-important prediction and an Expert View from Robert Guerrero. Compelling interrogator Donald McRae quizzes Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach about life, love and the main event. Jack Catterall speaks from the unique position of having recently sparred Mayweather (before moving on to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez). Common opponent Shane Mosley compares the skill-set of the two combatants, while Londoner Ashley Theophane provides a candid glimpse into the Mayweather gym.
We sincerely hope all of this enhances your enjoyment of what will likely be the most celebrated battle many of you have ever witnessed. But if by some strange combination of the long wait to arrive here and the fact so many column inches have already been devoted to the contest, you are bored of “Money” vs Manny, we also two of Britain’s best this issue – Carl Froch on his future plans in our Q&A, and Amir Khan is the subject of the 60-Second Interview – plus ringside reports from Wladimir Klitschko-Bryant Jennings in New York and two world title fights in Chicago.
By the time you read this the entire Boxing News team will be in Las Vegas to cover every element of fight week and its aftermath. We plan to keep you up to date with all the breaking news and pertinent opinions from Sin City. We will also produce next week’s issue ‘on location’. Fear not any Hangover-style shenanigans for we, much like Mayweather and Pacquiao albeit in a vastly different arena, are dedicated professionals.
For probably the only time, we advise you to do as we do: soak up every bit of excitement and enjoyment and hope we see another period like this. Or a rematch.