Mayweather-Pacquiao news conference sets stage for 'legacy' fight

Mayweather-Pacquiao news conference sets stage for 'legacy' fight
Manny Pacquiao opens training camp at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood on March 9. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are scheduled to attend an invitation-only news conference today at L.A. Live’s Nokia Theatre to promote their May 2 super-fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The event, which is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. PDT, is to be preceded by red-carpet arrivals and will likely feature the fighters standing toe-to-toe for cameras -- a long-awaited faceoff for the most anticipated fight in several years: the unbeaten Mayweather versus the eight-division champion Pacquiao.


During a Tuesday visit with Pacquiao at his trainer's gym, the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, the fighter was asked which of Mayweather's skills he still needs to prove he can handle by taking on boxing's top pound-for-pound fighter.

"The speed, the footwork," Pacquiao said. "The most important thing will be just being in the ring, both of us.

"In my mind right now, it's not difficult to fight his style. It's not difficult to win the fight."

Pacquiao said that as a boxer, he most admires Mayweather's "speed and defense," and that he's also learned that his opponent, "when he's alone, is a nice person ... not as cocky."

In late January, as their fight was being negotiated, the two met coincidentally in Miami at a Heat-Milwaukee Bucks game. They chatted briefly at halftime, arranging a post-game meeting, where each convinced the other that his interest in making the complex deal was sincere. That fast-tracked the remainder of unsettled deal points.

"Doing the fight will make the fans satisfied," Pacquiao said, adding that the outcome "is in the hands of God.

"What I need to do is prepare, work hard, like what I did the last couple of fights."

Pacquiao beat previously undefeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in April and knocked down previously unbeaten Chris Algieri six times in November.

Asked if he has regained the killer instinct that made him boxing's most dominant fighter with 2009 knockouts of Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, Pacquiao said, "Yes, more than that."

"When I train every day now, I'm thinking like those past two fights."

Did he lose that during a string of bouts when Shane Mosley retreated, when Joshua Clottey covered up, and when Antonio Margarito sufffered a bad eye injury?

"I didn't lose it, but sometimes I've taken it easy," Pacquiao said, making it clear that won't be the case this time.

"This fight is for the legacy of boxing history," he said. "When you talk about boxing history, you'll be talking about this fight."