This is about as close as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will get until they face off in the ring May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It’s not the intense, nose-to-nose staredown that will happen at the weigh-in, but it’s the first time the two greatest boxers of their era have ever appeared on stage together.
The image livened up an otherwise snooze-worthy press conference at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon, the only joint appearance the boxing superstars will make before the fight.
The podium comments were largely cordial—aside from Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach saying “we’re going to kick his ass”—but Mayweather couldn’t help but draw a comparison between his undefeated record and the Filipino icon’s five losses.
“When you lose it’s in your mind. If you lost once, it’s in your mind, if you lost twice, it’s in your mind,” Mayweather said.
“From day one I was always taught to be a winner, push yourself to the limit, stay focused and be the best you can be.”
“I never wanted to win a fight so bad in my life. And he wants to win as bad as I do.”
Pacquaio, never much of a trash talker, briefly took the podium before Mayweather spoke. “I believe this is what you are waiting for since five years ago," he said. "We will do our best on May 2 to make you happy."
It was a far cry from the last time Showtime and HBO joined forces to put on a joint pay-per-view bout in 2002, when a wild brawl broke out at the press conference for the Mike Tyson/Lennox Lewis fight, and Tyson ended up chomping on Lewis’ leg.
It looks like both Mayweather and Pacquiao are saving that kind of mayhem for fight night.
Photos by AP