Thursday, May 3, 2012 | 12:44 p.m.
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Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather Jr. vs. Ortiz
It’s all about the money -- millions and millions of it. Even though it will be the first time in many months that Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps into the ring, he’ll -- win or lose -- walk away with at least $22 million. He doesn’t plan on losing his first fight in an unbeaten streak of 42 bouts because an even bigger payday looms, as there is always Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd’s opponent, Miguel Cotto, will walk away -- win or lose -- with his best career earnings: $8 million. The star-studded Saturday-night rumble at MGM Grand Garden Arena refereed by Tony Weeks is being talked about as the biggest fight of the year to date. If Floyd fails to win the WBA light middleweight title from Miguel, it would be the biggest upset in the boxing world. Floyd is already a champion in five weight classes.
With his technical prowess and a fusillade of faster and fiery shots, Floyd is picked to conquer Miguel’s bravery and send him back to Puerto Rico bruised, battered and bleeding from the punishing early rounds.
Call it “The Fast and the Furious” with the added knockout punch of it being Cinco de Mayo. The only discussion is whether Floyd takes out Miguel in the first two rounds or whether it goes the 12-round distance for a unanimous decision.
Floyd, who makes most of his money from his slice of HBO’s PPV sales worldwide, fought Victor Ortiz, 10 years younger than Floyd, last September.
There’s huge money outside the ring, too, with big bets at our sports books and restaurants, plus champagne and VIP tables at our nightclubs. Stars won’t just be at ringside to watch the action; afterward, they’re entertaining fight fans and Cinco de Mayo celebrants at our top party playgrounds.
It all starts Friday with Flo Rida doing double duty at Ditch Fridays and Rain Nightclub at the Palms and Chuy Bravo of “Chelsea Lately” hosting at Pure in Caesars Palace. Be his name Puff Daddy, Sean Combs or Diddy, the handsome rapper and record mogul host his after-fight party Saturday also at Rain.
Nelly and Common will do fight-night battle within yards of each other, Nelly at Haze in Aria and Common at the Bank in the Bellagio. Jermaine Dupri is guest DJ at Steve Wynn’s Tryst, and rapper Fat Joe is at LAX in the Luxor.
It’s a superstar, knockout Las Vegas weekend for everybody. Miguel may well miss out on the fun sleeping on the canvas, but Floyd and his entourage will certainly be out on the town to enjoy it all.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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