Friday, May 2, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. likes to say no event in Las Vegas can compare to when he fights.
He may soon be able to boast the same is true for when he weighs in. For his second straight fight, Mayweather attracted a packed crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to watch him tip the scales.
Thousands of fans cheered as Mayweather and Saturday night’s pay-per-view opponent Marcos Maidana weighed in at 146 and 146.5 pounds, respectively, to make their welterweight title unification bout official.
“He’s a champion,” Mayweather said in his final public comments before the fight while on the stage. “I’m a champion. That’s what the fans want to see — champion vs. champion.”
They apparently want to see both of them before they even step into the ring. Anticipating a tremendous crowd, the MGM made use of the entire venue instead of scaling it halfway like a typical weigh-in.
A line formed all the way back to the shops at the MGM Grand by 11 a.m. Friday morning, an hour before doors opened for the weigh-in. The fighters from the card, named “The Moment,” didn’t begin to come out until nearly three hours later.
But attendees weren’t left unoccupied in the meantime.
“Floyd wanted to do something a little different with the weigh-in this time,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said at a press conference earlier in the week.
Mayweather turned the weigh-in into a full-fledged event. Rappers 2 Chainz and Jinsu performed short sets.
While the crowd waited for the champions, many of them sang along to 2 Chainz hits like his own “I’m Different” and Drake’s “All Me”.
2 Chainz’s responsibilities weren’t limited to performing. He also accompanied Mayweather to the stage, along with fellow rapper Rick Ross, after Maidana had already made his way in front of the mob.
Maidana was mostly booed, but a few sections went wild waving Argentina flags and chanting his nickname “Chino.”
“He’s going to be a more difficult fight than Adrien Broner,” Maidana said through a translator, “because he’s a better fighter. But because of my style, I’m going to win.”
The biggest victory of Maidana’s career to this point came in a unanimous-decision over Broner last December. It was a major upset, one Broner will attempt to recover from against Carlos Molina on “The Moment” undercard.
Broner and Molina both weighed in at 140 pounds for their junior welterweight bout.
“He isn’t going to say nothing to me,” the brash Broner said. “He don’t even want to fight. He just wants that check he’s going to get. I’m going to kick his ass.”
Amir Khan and Luis Collazo, the co-feature on the card, were also on weight at 147 pounds apiece. Khan is expected to earn a shot at Mayweather with a victory.
But Mayweather isn’t thinking ahead. Saturday’s event is plenty significant in its own right.
“(Maidana) got here somehow, someway,” Mayweather said. “I can’t overlook this guy.”