Monday 19 February 2018

The man who coined the phrase "let's get ready to rumble" can't even get a ticket for Mayweather v Pacquiao

Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao
Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao

The ticket situation for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas this Saturday night has reached new levels with all sorts of top celebrities not able to get their hands on a golden seat.

Even Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman can't get a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao ticket.

Neither can Joe Maloof, a Vegas bigwig whose family used to control the Sacramento Kings and Palms Casino Resort, or Michael Buffer, whose signature "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" is as much a part of boxing as vitriolic press conferences and egomaniacal promoters.

"It's complete chaos," said Maloof, noting that his brother, Gavin, somehow scored a pair of nosebleed seats from a pal at MGM, which is hosting Saturday's welterweight championship bout at its MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.

Next to the participants themselves, the biggest fight going on in Vegas this week is the behind-the-scenes jockeying, cajoling and horse-trading by the rich and famous for the chance to say they were a part of what's being called the biggest fight in Vegas history. Former HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg had a different word for it:

"It's begging, that's what it really is," he said. "There were times I felt more like a ticket broker than a studio president."

The arena seats 16,800, and the less than 1,000 tickets made available to the public sold out in 60 seconds. The average sold resale ticket price was $6,268 as of Thursday, according to StubHub.

MGM controls 40 percent of the remaining tickets, while the fighters' promotion companies evenly split the rest.

Buffer, who'll introduce Pacquiao and stay as a credentialed media member, wasn't given tickets or the right to buy them as part of his agreement to lend his big-fight feel to the event. Even so, he's heard from more than just a few old friends with dinner invitations as a pretense to what they really want.

"I've got a few contacts, but I still can't touch those tickets," he said.

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