Manny Pacquiao arrives in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, USA - Floyd Mayweather Jr may live and train in Las Vegas, but Manny Pacquiao felt like the hometown fighter as he arrived at the Delano Las Vegas on Monday evening, April 27 ahead of his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) of General Santos City, Philippines held his youngest son Israel as he saluted the greeting crowd of nearly 100 fans by throwing up a fist while descending from his recreational vehicle.
He was accompanied by wife Jinkee and the rest of his children, as well as advisor Michael Koncz and former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson.
Pacquiao and a caravan of his team and supporters departed from Los Angeles after a final training session at Wild Card Gym, but encountered traffic on I-15. A stop at In-N-Out Burger also tacked on some time to Pacquiao’s arrival.
Fans waved Philippine flags and shouted “47 and 1! We believe!”, referencing Mayweather's boxing record should he lose against Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand. Pacquiao supporters lingered in the hotel lobby afterwards, hoping to catch a second glimpse of the 8-division boxing champion.
“Manny is the best fighter in the world. He’s the number one, not the number two,” says Jhonele, a Pacquiao fan from Santa Ana, Cagayan Valley, Philippines who now resides in Las Vegas. “He’s gonna beat him by technical knockout or knockout by 11 rounds.”
Kenneth from Pangasinan thinks Pacquiao will get to Mayweather in round 7, a bet that the MGM Sports Book is offering 25-1 odds on. “We feel excited for the fight. Maybe Mayweather will lose right away.”
Pacquiao will stay at his usual suite at the Delano, which is connected to the Mandalay Bay. He won’t be participating in the “grand arrival” at the MGM Grand scheduled for Tuesday, April 28 at 2 pm Pacific Time, but will host his own fan rally at the Mandalay Bay at 11 am.
While Pacquiao may be a fan favorite at Mandalay, he’s still an underdog at their sports book. The odds narrowed slightly from +170 to +160 on Pacquiao, while Mayweather, who opened as a -240 favorite, holds steady at -200.
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.