Celebrity boxers Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao were practically mobbed by their respective boxing fans when they arrived in Las Vegas for their “Dream Fight” scheduled for December 6, 2008 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both boxers moved to Las Vegas with their entourage to continue their training until they are declared in top conditions by their respective trainers. Everywhere they go, they are being mobbed by just about everyone in their path asking for autographs and having pictures taken beside them for souvenirs.
The camp of Manny Pacquiao took a custom-painted bus showing event images to promote the boxing match. The custom-painted bus was donated by Bob Arum of Top Rank.
Pacquiao opted to take his Lincoln Navigator with some of his key people. They arrived in Las Vegas a little after 10:00 p.m. Monday. He later hosted a simple dinner for friends at the Mandalay Bay hotel. A helicopter ride was scheduled for Pacquiao but was later cancelled for no apparent reason. Pacquiao is known to get dizzy whenever he takes high and fast rides similar to those found in Disneyland. Pacquiao was later joined by Sec. Lito Atienza, former mayor of Manila and now Philippine Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Governor Chavit Singson.
Likewise de la Hoya got his custom-painted bus that took his entourage to Las Vegas that included consultant Angelo Dundee and chief trainer Nacho Berestain. De la Hoya was reported to have taken a private aircraft from Van Nuys and was brought to a private residence before proceeding to the boxing venue. He entered MGM Grand Hotel to the accompaniment of Mexican music and had a photo-op with media people.
The two popular boxers square it off at the MGM Grand with Pacquiao playing the role of an underdog for the first time in his boxing career. Boxing aficionados from all over the world declared that the boxing fight is a mismatch. They said that they are doing it for money. Oscar de la Hoya is the superior fighter with an advantage in height, reach, natural weight and built while Pacquiao is known for his speed and powerful left hook.
The images of Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao have been posted all over Las Vegas to highlight the “Dream Fight” and for maximum exposure. Even slot machines inside hotels and casinos have the pictures of Pacquiao and de la Hoya pasted at the sides. Poker table tops have the faces of de la Hoya and Pacquiao while souvenir shops are enjoying brisk sales of shirts with Pacquiao-de la Hoya Pictures.
Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Boy Promotions said that the magnitude of this fight has forced de la Hoya to make sure that he can stay with Pacquiao until the end. “This is going to be the second highest grossing gate in Las Vegas for boxing event and that’s remarkable for the global recession and economic turmoil we are experiencing”, he added.
Among the celebrities that confirm attendance are Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Lopez, Mark Anthony, Robert Crowe, George and Mario Lopez.