Manny Pacquiao says 'Relax. I'll win this fight' with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Staged arrivals of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao highlight offer another chance for cheap shots

Before most big fights, the two boxers hold a staged arrival at the site of the bout where each walks a red carpet, poses for a few pictures and takes a couple of final cheap shots at his opponent.

Saturday's Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight is not like most big fights, though. So the two combatants made separate arrivals about four hours and one mile apart Tuesday, with Pacquiao greeting a crowd of around 3,000 Filipino fans in a massive convention room at the Mandalay Bay resort in the morning and Mayweather holding an afternoon pep rally across the Las Vegas Strip at the MGM Grand.

"Are you excited?" Pacquiao, who broke camp in Hollywood on Monday, asked the crowd three times. The fans responded with chants of "We love you, Manny!" while another supporter bellowed "47-1," a taunt for the unbeaten Mayweather, who will enter the ring 47-0.

At one point Pacquiao broke into a broad smile and said "Relax. I'll win this fight. Thanks for your support."

Then as "Eye of the Tiger" blared from the sound system, Pacquiao posed for a few pictures before leaving. The whole event took less than an hour.

The boxer’s promoter, Bob Arum, said the event was held to allow Pacquiao to show his appreciation for his Filipino fans. But there may have been another reason for holding it at Mandalay Bay, where Pacquiao normally stays before a Las Vegas bout.

Arum came into the press tent behind the MGM Grand late Tuesday to say Al Haymon, Mayweather’s manager, had told management at the hotel not to speak with him despite the fact Arum has staged numerous megafights at the hotel.

"I will never forgive him for this," Arum said.

Haymon, who hasn’t spoken to reporters in year, was in Cleveland on Tuesday.

A couple of hours earlier, Mayweather arrived at the MGM Grand in a shiny black Mercedes emblazoned with his team’s TMT logo, for The Money Team.

Before the fighter took the stage in the Grand Garden Arena, site of Saturday’s bout, the crowd was warmed up by a marching band, a DJ and a comic who turned serious when he scolded the media for being anti-Mayweather.

"Write it right," he said.

Mayweather showed up near the end of the 90-minute event and thanked his fans from their support, then answered a few softball questions. But he also did some scolding of his own, criticizing Pacquiao for ignoring tradition by refusing to agree to a joint arrival.

"So many different sponsors and networks came together … we both should have been here, as professionals. It comes down to the two fighters," Mayweather said.

"If I didn’t show up for the grand arrival, it would’ve been on the front page. The standards are always different for me."

The media demand for Saturday's fight was so great the ballroom normally used by journalists at the MGM Grand was converted to a broadcast center, forcing print reporters into a parking lot where they worked in a air-conditioned tent.

More than 1,000 media credentials have been approved for the bout, double the number for most big fights.

By way of comparison, more than 5,500 media credentials were handed out for last February’s Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., and more than 2,500 credentialed media were inside the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for last year’s World Cup final.

Times staff writer Bill Dwyre contributed to this report.

Read the Los Angeles Times' special edition Flipboard digital magazine Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

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