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Floyd Mayweather right on the money and fired up for huge bout with Manny Pacquiao

By Duncan Bech

Published 30/04/2015

Floyd Mayweather Jr
Floyd Mayweather Jr

Floyd Mayweather will view his success in providing financial security for his family as a greater achievement than retiring undefeated.

The 38-year-old faces long-term rival Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas this weekend to decide who is the greatest boxer of their generation.

Mayweather, who calls himself "Money", is unbeaten in 47 fights but views his personal fortune in excess of £325million with more satisfaction.

"Right now I'm TBE (the best ever) and after this fight I will still be TBE. One fight against Pacquiao doesn't define my career," he said.

"The great thing about my career has been that I'm a smart businessman. Let's talk about that.

"A 19-year career with no punishment on the body and hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank? That's something to talk about.

"Absolutely the money means more to me than the unbeaten record - my daughter can't eat no zero. She can't spend a boxing record.

"The money is to make sure that my children and my children's children are secure and that they're OK. That's the most important thing."

Pacquiao has warned Mayweather that his unbeaten record will fall to his fists in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Pacquiao insists his speed will confront the pound-for-pound ruler with a challenge he has never faced before.

"I'm different to the 47 opponents he has fought before. I'm faster than them and I'm content for the fight. I believe this is the moment he will experience his first loss," Pacquiao said.

"I can't say Mayweather is the most dangerous opponent of my career because I've fought guys like Oscar De LA Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel and Marquez and other boxers.

"He's a difficult opponent but my confidence is different for this fight. This is one of the most important fights for my boxing legacy."

Pacquiao was speaking shortly after around 1,000 fans had gathered at the Mandalay Bay to watch a noisy and colourful event organised by the Filipino southpaw, who opted to host his own welcome to Las Vegas rather than join Mayweather at the official grand arrival at the MGM Grand.

A DJ, Filipino dancing band and singer took it in turns to entertain the crowd until Pacquiao arrived 44 minutes late alongside trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum.

Pacquiao enters the richest fight in boxing history as underdog for the first time since his eight-round destruction of Oscar De La Hoya in 2008.

"I have to prove something. Every time I'm the underdog, I like that because my killer instinct, my focus is there. This is what I want," Pacquiao said.

"We're not working one strategy, but we have two or three. If he wants to fight me, that's good for me.

"But if he's running and running and moving around the ring, we've prepared for that."

Mayweather was only six minutes late for his arrival at the MGM Grand's Garden Arena, appearing following a bombastic build-up conducted by MC Doug E Fresh.

His entrance was preceded by a marching band who filed on to the stage before Mayweather himself, clad in a white cap and tracksuit, arrived in a black Mercedes van adorned with 'The Money Team' logo before greeting a crowd in the region of 5,000 beneath a giant screen showing footage of his fights.

"Everybody who is in this arena is The Money Team. I make a lot of money, but I also want to give back to the American people," Mayweather said.

With the biggest boxing match in years almost here, the fight to keep it off illegal streaming sites is well under way. HBO, Showtime, and the promoters filed a federal lawsuit seeking to shut down two websites that are advertising free streaming videos of the fight.

The suit follows one brought in Florida last week by a Filipino media company against a man who it says operates an illegal streaming site in the Philippines. Both suits ask for restraining orders to stop the sites showing the fight.

The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will be a major test of the sports media industry's ability to crack down on piracy.

The fight is expected to be the most-pirated live sporting event in history. And while the lawsuits are a first step, the real contest will be a game of whack-a-mole taking place as the fight is actually going on.

Sports pose a unique challenge when it comes to piracy as relatively few people will want to watch a boxing match once they know who has won.

As a result, everything comes down to what happens during a few hours on Saturday night.

The world awaits boxing's superstars.

Belfast Telegraph

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