Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 | 8:30 p.m.
As if the contrasts in the lifestyles of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz weren’t evident enough, Tuesday’s fight week grand entrances at the MGM Grand further reinforced them.
Ortiz strolled into the lobby of the MGM wearing a Kansas City Royals cap backward, a cutoff hoodie and sweatpants alongside a couple confidants.
Mayweather showed up an hour later sporting designer apparel from head to toe. His group of approximately 20 associates, which he calls “The Money Team,” never strayed far from his side.
Mayweather pulled up in a white Maybach 625, one of many cars in his luxury automobile collection, after Ortiz arrived in a less flamboyant Cadillac Escalade.
“My main thing is to entertain — in the ring and outside of the ring,” Mayweather said. “And the main thing is staying relevant.”
Despite any of Mayweather’s perceived faults, no one could argue against his prominent standing in the sports landscape. His arrival brought a buzz that only one other boxer in the world, Manny Pacquiao, could match.
Fans began assembling hours before Mayweather walked in, forming a standing-room-only mob as deep as 10 rows to get a glimpse of the undefeated 34-year-old fighter. The 24-year-old Ortiz, who owns the WBC welterweight title, was slightly in awe of the whole scene.
Ortiz has never taken part in a fight of this magnitude.
“I’ve always been this kid who’s not really supposed to be on this stage, according to people in their eyes,” Ortiz said. “I’ve always agreed to disagree. That’s me.”
The lobby erupted as Ortiz walked in. Camera flashes flickered like a 100 strobe lights and a jungle of fans’ outstretched arms escorted Ortiz to the ring.
The environment was tame in comparison to the response for Mayweather, but unlike anything Ortiz had ever experienced.
“This isn’t reality,” Ortiz said. “No one lives like this.”
Well, Mayweather might. “Money” detailed how he made $100,000 before a training session Monday night by putting two wagers in on the New England Patriots against the Miami Dolphins.
The two non-training anecdotes Ortiz shared from the last few days were pleading with his trainers to let him go to In-N-Out Burger and a recent fishing trip with friends that aired on HBO’s 24/7.
“Money is made to be spent, baby,” Mayweather said. “Ain’t no Brinks trucks pulling up at the funeral home last time I checked. Enjoy life. Why fight and make a lot of money if you can’t enjoy it?”