Predicting the starting time of a boxing match is an inexact science, but Showtime and HBO representatives are telling reporters that Saturday night's Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight will begin “no earlier than 8 p.m. Pacific time and no later than 9 p.m.”
The fight began just a few moments before 9. A pay-per-view ordering issue may have set things back. Mayweather won by unanimous decision.
The wild card is how elaborate that Mayweather/Showtime have made the fighters' pre-fight entrance, when Pacquiao will walk into the MGM Grand arena to a song he sang and recorded honoring his native Philippines, and Mayweather, with Justin Bieber likely in tow, will do something he has promised will be special.
First, the pay-per-view broadcast, carried jointly by both premium cable networks with HBO’s Jim Lampley calling the fight and Showtime’s Al Bernstein serving as analyst, will start at 6 p.m. and it has only two fights on the undercard.
And neither of those fights may go the distance.
Featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine successfully defended his belt against Puerto Rico’s Gamalier Rodriguez with a ninth-round knockout.
Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic champion, is a wicked puncher and a big favorite over Rodriguez, the top-ranked World Boxing Organization contender.
The next bout is considered a laugher by most boxing followers, as super-bantamweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz (29-0-1, 17 knockouts) of La Habra meets last-minute opponent Jose Cayetano (17-3, 8 KOs) of Tijuana in a 10-round featherweight bout.
That bout is about to finish.