Pacquiao-Marquez III: At the Weigh-in
With more than two hours to go before the start of the official weigh-in, there were already a few hundred people dutifully lined up at the entrance to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Once inside, the audience revealed itself to be almost perfectly bipartisan: half Mexican, half Filipino. As part of the pre-weigh-in entertainment, a contest was carried out to try and find out which half most loudly expressed their support. The result, in keeping with the tune of the first two Márquez-Pacquiao fights, was soundly inconclusive.
The betting line at the MGM Grand today showed a $100 bet on Márquez to win would net $700, while it would take a $900 bet on Pacquiao to earn $100. But there’s no way you’d know this by polling those present at the weigh-in. An unofficial survey of around 20 attendees failed to yield the same answer more than once. All of them predicted a knockout in favor of the fighter their attire suggested they favored. All of them, however, expect the fight to last less than six rounds. Granted, an animated weigh-in with a crowd in the low thousands cheering and jeering for all they’re worth may not be the best place where to look for objective betting information. An event such as this one, conducive to an enhanced sense of nationalism, not to mention increased testosterone levels, tends to blur judgment.
As for the results of the weigh-in, not many people present even seemed to care all that much. They were there to see Manny and Juan Manuel, and to have a bloody good time. There were ‘Manny for president’ banners and Mexican sombreros. There were vuvuzelas and a mariachi. There was a ‘Viva Dinamita’ banner and yellow foam Pac-heads. All bearing witness to Manny weighing 143 pounds and Juan Manuel weighing 142. Pacquiao looked in fine form, ripped as usual. Márquez appeared in great shape as well. The challenger, packing plenty of extra muscle, seems to have adapted better to the higher weight this time.
At the weigh-in, we learned Timothy Bradley vs. Joel Casamayor is the ‘co-featured’ bout of Saturday’s show. ‘Desert Storm’ Bradley will be making his Vegas debut, and clearly he intends to take this opportunity and turn it into a showcase. His muscular physique reflected his ambition, while Casamayor looked too lean, a bit on the drained side. Bradley weighed in at the 140 pound limit, while Casa was over by a pound, even after removing his underwear, but he was able to sweat off that extra pound without any problems.
And so everything’s set. The ring is in place, the fighters have made weight, all the tickets have been sold. The hype has been pushed as far as it will go. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the show. – Rafael Garcia Quiñones