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December 13, 2017

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Live! Color! From Pacquiao-Mosley at MGM Grand Garden Arena


Steve Marcus

Shane Mosley punches at Manny Pacquiao during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 7, 2011.

7 p.m.: Good evening! Seated now at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, enjoying a pretty lively super middleweight undercard bout between Kelly Pavlik and Alfonso Lopez. Lopez is from Cut & Shoot, Texas. I believe that is the sister city of Cut & Run. Earlier, I happened by the merchandise table leading into the arena, where I found a sweat jacket priced at $75 and a single boxing glove bearing the images of Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley going for $70. That is a single glove. If you're a Nevada resident with a valid ID, you get both gloves for $140.

Main Event: Pacquiao vs. Mosley

Shane Mosley punches at Manny Pacquiao during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 7, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Undercard: Pacquiao vs. Mosley

Jorge Arce of Mexico celebrates his victory over  WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez of Puerto Rico after their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 7, 2011. Launch slideshow »
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Merchandise counter at the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight, where dreams come true.

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Shane Mosley takes a punch from Manny Pacquiao during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 7, 2011.

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Manny Pacquiao celebrates his unanimous decision win over Shane Mosely to keep the WBO world welterweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, May 7, 2011.

I also spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Roth, the fight's designated plastic surgeon. He always brings his bag with him to his seat, as part of tradition, because the first fight he was asked to work was Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez II back in 2008, a great brawl that left Pacquiao bloodied. He entered the locker room to find Pacquiao being worked on by two medical officials from the Philippines who were using what appeared to be World War II-era instruments. Roth took over, much to the relief of everyone, and he's worked dozens of fights since. He has lived in Vegas since 1977 and grew up around the fight game, fondly remembering the great bouts at Caesars Palace. If you're ever cut in the squared circle, Roth is a good guy to have on your list of contacts.

8:35 p.m.: Massive WiFi problems at ringside. Reminds me of the Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey card in Dallas last year. Everything seems fine now.

Since last posting, I've had a conversation with Johnny "Tap Tap" Tapia at ringside. He's an excitable sort. Bald, too. Bald and excitable. He likes Pacquiao by decision, but says, "Mosley is so tough." I agree, doubly.

Also seated nearby is Thomas "HItman" Hearns, behind and to the left. Chatting on the cell phone, looking pretty smooth in a beige three-piece suit. Hearns fought in some of the greatest fights of the 1980s and seems to be showing some ill effects from those bouts. But what a competitor.

Jorge Arce is the new WBO world bantamweight champ, stopping Wilfredo Vasquez with something like 940 unanswered punches in the 12th round.

8:40 p.m.: A pair of Wynns -- Steve and Andrea Wynn -- are here. So are a pair of Hiltons -- Nicky and Paris. Nicky is seated behind me.

8:50 p.m.: More celebs: George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Charice, Tyrese. David Foster is here. He discovered Charice and also Celine Dion, who is not here. Charice sang the national anthem of the Philippines, Tyrese the national anthem of the United States and Foxx "God Bless America." Getting flashy and loud in here now, awaiting introductions. "Momma Said Knock You Out" brings in Mosley. "Thunderstruck," an inspired choice, brings in Pacquiao on a wave of thunder.

9 p.m.: Spoke too soon. The song that actually accompanied Pacquiao to the ring was "Eye of the Tiger," and Survivor vocalist Jimi Jamison was actually on hand to sing over the music track. Finally, we have introductions. Note that it would have taken a $2,000 straight bet to win $300 on a Pacquiao victory, a wager I was talked out of this week.

9:05 p.m.: Say this for the MGM Grand Garden Arena: This place gets very loud. It's a big barn. A big, loud barn.

9:10 p.m.: Mosley is a pretty crafty guy. Pretty even first round. I'm seated next to fight ref Joe Cortez. I'll start asking him for his scoring. Seems Round 1 could have gone either way.

9:12 p.m.: The difference in Rounds 1 and 2, aside from the ring girls, is Pacquiao is now backing up Mosley. Cortez says it could be 2-0 Pac-Man, or 1-1.

9:15 p.m.: Pacquiao floored Mosley midway through the third round. Right jab, straight left. Bang-bang. Mosley lucky to finish the round, although "lucky" is a variable term when you're squared off against the Pac-Man.

9:20 p.m.: Mosley slipped in the first minute and seems on slippery skates up there. The crowd seems almost resigned at a dominant performance by Pacquiao, who has no fear of Mosley.

9:23 p.m.: Scott Sibella is here. He should be, as he is the president of the hotel. Round 5 free of incident, but Mosley is showing some facial wear and tear. Looks like he'd rather be elsewhere at this point.

9:26 p.m.: Fight is trudging toward a Pacquiao decision. He's been caught less than 10 times, cleanly, by Mosley.

9:30 p.m.: After a lackluster Round 7, the crowd boos lustily. Which is the best way to boo, really.

9:43 p.m.: The thing about Pacquiao is, he's got a great chin yet rarely gets caught clean. Wait. That's two things. More things: He has incredible stamina. He can fight for 12 rounds, then hit the clubs to sing, then dance. He's really a boxing embodiment of Vegas. Oh, and he probably won Round 8, in his spare time.

9:44 p.m.: Mosley pushed Pacquiao down in Round 10, ruled a knockdown, but it was in fact a slip. This has done nothing but make Pac-Man angry, which is not a good thing if you are Mosley.

9:47 p.m.: Pacquiao seems enlivened after that knockdown/slip moment in Round 10. Spent Round 11 bouncing around Mosley, who does not seem to have the firepower to register an actual knockdown. Heading to Round 12, with Pac-Man winning all but maybe one or two rounds from this scribe's scorecard.

9:51 p.m.: Final bell sounds. Some booing. A pretty lackluster event. It would not be surprising to see Pacquiao win every round on all three cards.

10 p.m.: Pac-Man wins handily on all three cards. What's next for him, aside from the obvious? A new CD? Theater tour? Opening for Michael Buble?

10:03 p.m.: Dr. Roth says he's going to check on both fighters. A couple of head butts, but it seems like nothing that requires the attention of a plastic surgeon. Aside: Ten percent of Roth's business is from men, matching the national average.

10:10 p.m.: Other celebs: Michael Strahan, Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants, Miguel Cotto, Nicole Murphy. Paris Hilton was with Cy Waits. Where were the "Pawn Stars" cast tonight? Seems like their kind of event.

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