MANNY PACQUIAO’S motorcade rolled into Las Vegas on Monday night. Declining to appear at the MGM, where Floyd Mayweather makes his ‘grand arrival’ today (April 28), Pacquiao, after running in the morning, instead chose to hold a rally for his fans at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Fans streamed into a cavernous hall waving Filipino flags, waiting for their hero as songs were sung on the dais and a traditional dance performed. A couple of Manny fans were even selected at random and hauled out on the stage where they were encouraged to dance. (Micky was summoned up there and manfully broke into a curious hybrid Russian dance/Irish jig.)
When Pacquiao marched on the stage, the celebration really began. Lights flashed and dry ice hissed into the air behind him. He stood with his hands aloft as if this was already a victory parade and Pacquiao assured his public he would emerge from the Floyd Mayweather fight triumphant.
Amid the cacophony, the Filipino icon asked, “Are you excited?”
His crowd howled in response.
“Don’t be nervous on Saturday,” Pacquiao continued, “I’m going to win the fight in the ring so relax.
“I’m so excited for Saturday. Thank you so much for your support and your prayers.”
“Thank you for being here to witness a historic fight on Saturday. I really appreciate that,” he concluded. “My confidence is there 100 percent. I can do all thing through Christ.”
The crowd finished chanting his name over and over as Pacquiao departed the stage.