LAS VEGAS – There was no snarling, no trash talk, no last-minute gamesmanship, just a simple face-to-face meeting between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a subdued press conference Wednesday at the MGM Grand Arena.
The cordial and uneventful meeting between the global icons belies the unprecedented interest in the upcoming fight which is expected to be the richest-grossing boxing event ever and which has left the boxing world wild with all sorts of speculations about the outcome.
Compared with the press conferences of past fights of similar magnitude, this one was tame, even disappointing and far removed from past eras when one protagonist even bit the ear of a rival.
Both appeared to be conserving their energy for the bigger thing ahead which is on May 2 when they collide to unite three world welterweight titles.
Pacquiao and Mayweather expressed nothing negative about the other and no fire came from Mayweather’s mouth who is known to insult and belittle his opponents.
They even shared a laugh during the “stare down.”
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said the reason is that Pacquiao has taken the lead in the press conference and forced Mayweather to dance to the Filipino’s tune.
“Pacquiao was humble and nice and Mayweather could not open his mouth and be different.”
“That forced him to stay away from his usual tough strategy,” he said.
“In this case, Pacquiao has already gotten into his head and he could not deviate from the road Pacquiao has taken.”
The fighters thanked their respective teams, the sponsors and both promised to provide the excitement the public wanted.
Wearing a blazer, blue shirt, matching pants and no tie, Pacquiao said his new found faith in God has given him the courage and made him to become what he is today.
He said he plans to talk to Mayweather after the fight, no matter the result, and discuss with him his faith.
Mayweather, sitting on the opposite side with his team from Showtime, wearing a track suit, showed no reaction, did not smile or acknowledge Pacquiao.
Pacquiao though addressed the Saturday fight at MGM Grand which he said he will work hard to satisfy the people who had wanted this fight to happen a long time ago.
“I worked hard to reach this stage,” Pacquiao said, “and I will do my best not to disappoint the people.”