With the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao showdown less than two weeks away, HBO and Showtime, the cable rivals jointly hosting the $100-a-pop, pay-per-view extravaganza , are firing up the hype machine with glorified infomericals promoting the long-awaited superfight. Instead of airing the regular "24/7" series from HBO and "All Access" from Showtime, both networks have unleashed dueling specials focusing on their respective contracted fighters. HBO's hour-long "Mayweather/Pacquiao: At Last" features the familiar Liev Schreiber voice-over and slicker production values of the more established "24/7" franchise while tracing the maddening six year run-up to the May 2 megabout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as well as showcasing choice footage of a baby-faced Pac-Man, frosted tips and all. You can watch the whole thing here:
Showtime's four-part "Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao" series lavishes attention on boxing's pound-for-pound king in its half-hour opener, even tracking down the Olympic judge who resigned in protest after a 19-year-old Mayweather was robbed of a victory over Bulgaria's Serafim Todorov at the 1996 Summer Olympics, spurring Mayweather to go pro after winning the Bronze medal. "Inside" also features footage of a teenage Mayweather training with father Floyd Sr., as well as the current day "Money" making the kind of supremely confident proclamations that fans have long become accustomed to. (Mayweather, who also calls himself "T.B.E.", for "The Best Ever," recently told ESPN that he's better than both Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.) Check out episode one here, and decide which network is beating the other to the punch.