LAS VEGAS, Nevada — The crowd was tremendous.
Fans of both Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley came in droves to the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the weigh-in of both fighters on the eve of their welterweight world title fight Saturday, June 9 (Sunday morning, Manila time).
The energetic crowd that packed the house cheered, chanted and did the wave as they watched Pacquiao and Bradley get weighed before facing off for a staredown.
Both boxers made the welterweight limit with Bradley weighing in at 146 and Pacquiao tipping the scales at 147.
Fired up crowd
Filipino fans arrived in huge numbers as they usually do, donning Pacman head pieces, waving Philippine flags and wearing shirts with their idol’s face. Throughout the event, they chanted ‘Manny! Manny!,’ drowning the cheers of his opponent’s followers.
Songs that celebrated Filipino pride such as “Bebot” by the Black Eyed Peas also filled the arena, pumping up the already riled up crowd even more.
Bradley for his part had a humble but loyal showing of fans who also brought American flags and signs that read, ‘Shock the world.’
The undefeated American fighter is 8th on The Ring’s pound-for-pound list, while Pacquiao sits on the 2nd spot alongside Floyd Mayweather Jr after he was demoted from the top spot following a disappointing showing against Mexican pugilist Juan Manuel Marquez in November.
Both fighters readily waved to their fans, while Bradley, who was met with boos by Pacquiao die-hards, moved his hands up and down, signaling the crowd to cheer for him louder.
The boos did not seem to faze the boxer who moved up in weight to face Pacquiao.
“I’m ready for war,” said Bradley. “No matter getting booed.”
Pacquiao on the other hand wore his usual smile and upbeat demeanor, crediting his positivity to his newfound faith.
“I’m happy because God is with me,” he said.
Most of the energetic crowd swore allegiance to Pacquiao, expressing confidence that he would take home his 55th win, with some even predicting his 39th knockout.
But Bradley’s uncle, Richard Bradley, told Rappler that his nephew is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and would prove it in the fight.
Michael Fault, an amateur fighter who trains under Floyd Mayweather Sr., supported the older Bradley’s prediction, saying Bradley might just surprise the fans.
“He (Bradley) catches people with a lot of counter punches,” Fault told Rappler. “If Manny doesn’t catch him early there’ll be trouble. He looks like he’s one of the toughest fighters that you want to be in there against.”
Barius Lingad, an avid Pacquiao fan, predicted a win for his idol but mentioned that the weigh-in against Bradley is less chaotic than past ones.
“This is my thrid weigh-in and for the past two it was more exciting. For this one, it was okay,” he said. “I’m still waiting for Manny and Mayweather, that’s for sure.”
As of early afternoon Friday, June 8, Pacquiao is a -450 favorite to win against Bradley in the sportsbook odds. — Rappler.com
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