TIME Boxing

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight Sells Out in 15 minutes

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. attends the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City.
Elsa—Getty Images Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. attends the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City.

It didn't take long to fill 17,000 seats

In the wake of confirmation that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao would have their long-awaited fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2, the hotel reportedly sold out in just 15 minutes, according to USA Today.

The MGM Grand has a capacity of about 17,000, depending on the arena’s configuration. Thousands of spectators are likely to travel to Las Vegas during the weekend to view the fight at various venues.

Speculation about a fight has existed for several years, with several developments occurring at the beginning of this year.

Mayweather to Pacquiao: ‘We have to make this fight happen’

As it appeared more likely the two would square off, rates at the hotel rose steadily, according to USA Today. On Thursday, rates were as high as $615 per night for May 1 and May 2, one of the more popular weekends of the year.

Mayweather and Pacquiao are considered by many to be the two best fighters of their generation. After the announcement, Mayweather was named the favorite at -295, while Pacquiao’s odds were put at +230, according to Sportsbook.

No official details of the fight contract have been release, but reports indicate thatthe prize could be as high as $250 million. According to SI’s Chris Mannix, Jim Lampley, Al Bernstein and Roy Stein will call the fight.

Six classic boxing stories from the Sports Illustrated Vault

Mayweather, 37, beat Marco Maidana in September, improving his record to 47-0 with 26 KOs. Pacquiao, 36, has a 57-5-2 record with 38 KOs after defeating Chris Algieri in November.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Boxing

Watch Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Chat During Heat Game

Did they just cut a deal?

Phone numbers, not punches, were exchanged when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather’s went face-to-face on Tuesday night — not in the ring, of course, but during a chance meeting at a basketball game in Miami.

The two welterweights, who were in attendance for the Milwaukee Bucks win over the Heat, took a couple of minutes during halftime to chat. Both Mayweather and the Pacman appeared to remain cordial during the exchange, despite years of trash talk and accusations in the absence of a deal that would allow the fighters to settle one of modern boxing’s most-debated rivalries.

“It was a private discussion. They had a private, friendly discussion and that’s all I really want to say,” said Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, according to ESPN.

During the exchange, the two boxers also swapped phone numbers, indicating that they may begin taking a greater role in negotiating a deal for a potential showdown in early May, according to the Associated Press.

“He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other,” Pacquiao told the AP.

TIME Boxing

Manny Pacquiao Says He Can ‘Easily Beat’ Floyd Mayweather

Mayweather still has to confirm the May 2 match

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao tweeted Tuesday that it’ll be easy to defeat the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, whenever their legendary match actually gets the green light.

Pacquiao didn’t stop there: while he has agreed to the match’s terms, there’s still no word from Mayweather. But Pacquiao wasn’t afraid to call out his silence.

The real delay, though, is the negotiation between Showtime, which broadcasts Mayweather fights, and HBO, which claims the rights to Pacquiao’s matches, on how they’d broadcast the event.

Pacquiao has previously expressed his hope for the match, which would occur on May 2, telling the Los Angeles Times on Monday, “We just want to make that fight happen — for the sake of the fans, for the sake of millions of people around the world who are excited to see that fight. We have a deadline … this month.”

TIME Boxing

Manny Pacquiao: Floyd Mayweather Must Confirm May 2 Fight This Month

Manny Pacquiao, Chris Algieri
Kin Cheung—AP WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, center, celebrates after defeating WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri of the United States during their welterweight title boxing match at the Venetian Macao in Macau, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

HBO/Showtime television deal may be biggest hurdle

Manny Pacquiao has urged Floyd Mayweather to confirm this month if the boxing legends are going to meet in the ring on May 2.

In what would be one of the most anticipated boxing matches in modern history, Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) says he’s already signed on to fight Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) but is just waiting for his opponent to ink the deal, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We just want to make that fight happen — for the sake of the fans, for the sake of millions of people around the world who are excited to see that fight,” Pacquiao said. “We have a deadline … this month.”

The stumbling block for recent negotiations does not appear to be Mayweather’s camp, but rather how Showtime (which broadcasts Mayweather fights) and HBO (which hold the rights to Pacquiao clashes) can both televise what is expected to be among the most lucrative bouts in decades.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME Boxing

First U.S. Heavyweight Champ in 8 Years Deontay Wilder Says It’s Just the Beginning

Bermane Stiverne v Deontay Wilder
Steve Marcus — Getty Images Deontay Wilder celebrates after defeating WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wilder took the title by unanimous decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

The Tuscaloosa native is back home in Alabama after his victory over Canada’s Bermane Stiverne

Deontay Wilder arrived home in Alabama Sunday as the newly crowned heavyweight champion of the world, and the first American to lay claim to one of the sporting world’s most prestigious titles in eight years.

Wilder secured the WBC heavyweight title on Saturday night in front of a packed house at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, after delivering a bruising, one-sided whipping to Canada’s Bermane Stiverne to win the belt.

Following the bout, the Bronze Bomber tweeted a portrait of himself in a tuxedo to show off the lack of damage he incurred during the 12-round unanimous victory.

Upon arrival at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Sunday, the champ appeared to have already set his sights on the future.

“This is just the beginning,” Wilder told local media outlets. “It’s a great feeling to be the WBC champ of the world, but there’s more to gain from this.”

Wilder is the first U.S. fighter to win one of boxing’s heavyweight titles since Shannon Briggs lost the WBO belt to Sultan Ibragimov in 2007. Since then, a majority of the world’s heavyweight belts have remained under the domain of Ukraine’s Klitschko brothers.

TIME Boxing

Muhammad Ali Has Been Hospitalized Again

Moet & Chandon At Celebrity Fight Night XIX
Michael Kovac—Getty Images Muhammad Ali at Celebrity Fight Night XIX at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix on March 23, 2013.

The legendary heavyweight is receiving follow-up care days ahead of his 73rd birthday

Boxing icon Muhammad Ali was checked back in to hospital on Thursday for the second time in less than a month for follow-up care, after suffering from a severe urinary-tract infection in December.

Ali was initially hospitalized late last year for what was originally believed to be a mild case of pneumonia, but was later determined to be a urinary tract-infection, reports the Associated Press.

However, the sporting legend is hoping to recover soon and plans to celebrate his 73rd birthday on Saturday at home with his family, said Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

The former world heavyweight champion has kept a lower public profile as of late as he continues his long-running battle with Parkinson’s disease.

[AP]

TIME Boxing

Pacquiao and Mayweather Fight Still Up in the Air

Clash In Cotai II - Manny Pacquiao v Chris Algieri
Chris Hyde—Getty Images Manny Pacquiao speaks to media at the postfight press conference after winning against Chris Algieri during the WBO world welterweight title at The Venetian in Macau on Nov. 23, 2014

The Filipino boxer’s management says there's still "a long way to go"

Correction appended, Jan. 16, 2015, 10:18 a.m. E.T.

Boxing fans hoping to see the fight of the century between eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather will have to keep waiting.

Earlier this week, Pacman’s publicist Fred Sternburg labeled the negotiations between the fighters as a “process” but said things were headed in a good direction.

“There is still a long way to go,” said Sternburg in a message to the BBC that was shared with TIME. But, he conceded that “the movement has been in a positive direction.”

The potential matchup between arguably two of the greatest welterweights to have ever laced up gloves has been stalled for the better part of eight years because of management feuds, contract disputes and disagreements over drug testing schemes.

[BBC]

Correction: The story has been updated to include the full statement from Pacquiao’s representative. The original version of this story also misidentified Fred Sternburg. He is Manny Pacquiao’s publicist.

TIME Boxing

Muhammad Ali Hospitalized With ‘Mild Case’ of Pneumonia

Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Sept. 27, 2014 in Louisville.
Stephen J. Cohen—Getty Images Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Sept. 27, 2014 in Louisville.

Ali, widely considered the greatest fighter in boxing history, has been hospitalized with a 'mild case' of pneumonia, reports said

Muhammad Ali was hospitalized on Saturday with a mild case of pneumonia, according to NBC News. His prognosis is considered good, as WDRB in Louisville, Ky., reports Ali is in stable condition.

Ali, 72, is widely considered the greatest fighter in boxing history. In 61 fights, he finished 56-5 with 37 knockouts. Ali also won the heavyweight crown three times, the first boxer to do so. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., he changed his name to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam.

Ali has battled Parkinson’s for decades. In October, Rahman Ali reportedly said his brother’s health had declined to the point where he was too ill to speak, according to The Courier-Journal. Ali later refuted the reports on Twitter, as did his family’s spokesman.

“Muhammad is doing fine at this point,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in October. “His speaking style is lower in tone, and as the day goes on, he doesn’t speak as well as he does in the morning. But Muhammad’s a strong person for his age and for the disease he has.”

Mike Fiammetta

TIME celebrities

Mickey Rourke Out-Boxes 29-Year-Old in Return to Ring

Mickey Rourke
Denis Tyrin—AP US actor Mickey Rourke kisses his glove after beating his opponent Elliot Seymour of the United States, during their professional boxing match at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow on Nov. 28, 2014.

The actor says the sport 'sort of saved me from myself'

Actor Mickey Rourke, 62, defeated a 29-year-old opponent in an exhibition boxing match in Moscow Friday.

The Wrestler star hadn’t participated in a boxing match in more than 20 years, the BBC reports, when injuries resulted in corrective surgeries to his face that significantly altered his appearance. While Rourke didn’t explain his decision to return to the ring, he has said that boxing “sort of saved me from myself.”

“I’m very happy to be back to the boxing ring. Thank God for letting me do this,” he said before the fight.

Rourke’s opponent, Elliot Seymour, is a former California Golden Gloves champion.

[BBC]

TIME Boxing

Mike Tyson Says He Was Sexually Abused as a Child

Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Ethan Miller—Getty Images Mike Tyson at the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, Aug. 9, 2014 in Las Vegas.

Says an older man "bullied me, sexually abused me"

If you heard that Mike Tyson was visiting Opie and Jim Norton, you’d expect some kind of debauched conversation to take place that was suitable only for a satellite radio audience. Instead, Tyson opened up about his past in a candid and heartfelt way, discussing how an incident from his youth may have shaped him as a man going forward, even if he doesn’t exactly know how.

In his interview, seen below, Tyson discussed how he was snatched up at seven years old by an older man who ‘bullied me, sexually abused me and stuff … snatched me off the street. I was a little kid. Never seen him again.’

One of the saddest parts is toward the end where Tyson claims he doesn’t know how the incident even affected or shaped his youth, and that going back down to examine those times can be a hard, lonely process.

Tyson lived in poverty as a child and never reported this incident, preferring instead to live with it on his own. Given the roller coaster ride that has been Mike Tyson since the early 1990s, it seems the effects of his abuse are incalculable. At least now, years and years removed from this harrowing time, the former heavyweight champion can look back with honesty and perhaps begin to understand how this may have shaped him.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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