The Fight is finally on.
The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record ever, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao’s split of the purse will likely be around $80 million.
The fight, which matches boxing’s two biggest attractions in recent years, has been in the making for five years. It finally came together in recent months with both fighters putting aside past differences over various issues — including drug testing and television rights — to reach agreement.
“I promised the fans we would get this done and we did,” Mayweather said.
While the fight rivals the 2002 heavyweight title bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson for interest, it comes more than five years after the first real effort to put the fighters together in their prime. Most boxing observers believe both have lost some of their skills, though Mayweather remains a master defensive fighter and Pacquiao showed in his last fight against Chris Algieri that he still has tremendous quickness in his hands.
Still, Pacquiao is 36 and has been through many wars in the ring. And while Mayweather has been largely untouched in his career, he turns 38 on Tuesday.
Pacquiao was sleeping in the Philippines when the fight was announced, but his camp issued a statement saying the fans deserve the long awaited fight.
“It is an honor to be part of this historic event,” Pacquiao said. “I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Mayweather insisted on having the right to announce the bout. He also won concessions from the Pacquiao camp on who enters the ring first, what type of gloves are used, and a number of other issues, including a reported 60-40 split of the purse.
But it didn’t take long for Pacquiao’s camp to start talking, either. Promoter Bob Arum expressed his elation in making the fight, while trainer Freddie Roach predicted a big win for his fighter.
“Floyd should enjoy being the A-Side while he can because on May 2 Manny is going to put him on his backside,” Roach said.
Arum, who has promoted some of the biggest fights in history, said this one would be bigger than them all.
“This boxing match will have the interest in the U.S. of a Super Bowl,” Arum told The Associated Press. “I think it will set all kinds of pay-per-view records and gate records. It will be the biggest boxing event of all time.”
Both fighters will bring 147-pound titles into the ring, but the fight is about far more than belts. Mayweather, who is unbeaten in 47 fights, wants to stake his claim as one of the greatest fighters ever, and remove any doubts about his legacy by fighting the boxer who is thought to be the greatest challenge of his career.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, will try to show that a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and a disputed decision loss to Timothy Bradley should not define a remarkable career that began 20 years ago in the Philippines
Don’t tune in looking for a big knockout, either. The last time Pacquiao stopped anyone was in 2009 when he finished off Miguel Cotto in the 12th round, while Mayweather has only stopped one fighter (Victor Ortiz) in the last eight years.
Oddsmakers have already posted their opinion on the bout, making Mayweather a 2 1/2-1 favorite in betting parlors in this gambling town. The fight is expected to draw record betting, with tens of millions wagered in Nevada’s legal sports books.
Another record which will almost surely be set will be the pay-per-view price to watch the fight at home. The fight will be televised as a joint venture between competing networks Showtime and HBO, which will share announcers with Jim Lampley and Al Bernstein reportedly handling the task at ringside.
UTB partners with FUFA to promote sports tourism
By Our Reporter
Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has entered into a Ugx200m sponsorship agreement and partnership with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) as the official tourism partner.
The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding; which will see both parties work hand in hand to promote brand “destination Uganda” at both the domestic and international scene.
The partnership gives UTB rights to brand Destination Uganda at local and international games in which the Uganda Cranes are participating as well as work with the players in destination marketing campaigns.
Speaking at the press conference, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova said: “The Uganda Tourism Board is prioritizing the building of positive destination brand equity and brand value through creating high level brand awareness partnerships such as the one witnessed here today with FUFA.”
Football is the world’s greatest sport and viewed by billions of fans across the world. In Uganda, the Uganda Cranes is the greatest football brand- but more importantly the leading sporting ambassadors to the region and the world.
Ajarova noted, “We are most excited about how we can best brand our national team internationally and also use the FUFA DRUM to create awareness of Uganda’s tourist attractions as the games traverse the whole country. We believe this is an incredible opportunity to connect with local communities and football fans across the country and will enable us to reach out to more tourists both locally and internationally.”
FUFA 1st Vice President, Justus Mugisha in his remarks said that, “We are using the power of sports to position Uganda on a global scene. This initiative by FUFA and UTB will showcase how football can be used to promote destination Uganda. We are proud to be in partnership and we hope to continue building our nation through sports and tourism.”
He added, this is a big opportunity for us to not only support football but also enrich Ugandans with the knowledge about their own country.
Uganda ladies crowned champions at the Africa 5s tournament
By Our Reporter
Team Uganda emerged the best at the inaugural edition of the ladies’ Africa Fives Soccer Championships played at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania over the weekend.
The team sponsored by Nile Special comprising of players like Vanessa Karungi, Brenda Nabisaalu, Wilmer Nantumbwe, Sarah Namulindwa, Memory Nampijja and Brenda Makanga, defeated the Tanzania Invitational side 1-0 in the final played on Saturday afternoon.
Captain Nampijja scored the winner-takes-it-all strike in the ninth minute of the 12-minute first half.
With a large number of Tanzanian fans cheering, Uganda held on in the second half with goalkeeper Karungi pulling off a couple of saves to guide Uganda to victory.
“We are happy to bring this trophy home,” said winning captain Nampijja after receiving the trophy from tournament ambassador Samuel Eto’o. The team will travel with former Cameroonian forward Eto’o to FC Barcelona’s home -Camp Nou.
Speaking about the women’s side triumph, Nile Special brand manager Francis Nyende was ecstatic and visibly in shock at the result.
“This Uganda’s inaugural participation in this tournament, and we have won the trophy! This is unbelievable. Kudos to the girls who have given it their everything. As a brand heavily involved in sports, we hope this victory will inspire more ladies to play this game,” said Nyende.
The team had beaten pre-tournament favourites South Africa 2-1 via a shootout where Karungi saved two penalties following a goalless draw.
In the quarterfinals, Uganda comfortably beat Ghana 3-0 with Nantumbwe striking twice. Uganda had beaten Zimbabwe 2-1, had a 1-1 draw with Tanzania A before losing to Swaziland 1-0 in Group A on Friday.
In the men’s category, Uganda was unlucky to be ejected after conceding a goal. Represented by Facebook FC franchise, which won the Nile Special 5-A-Side competition finals, Uganda beat Swaziland 5-0, Zimbabwe 1-0 and Tanzania 1-0 to top Group A on Friday but on Saturday, they lost to Group B bottom team Zambia 2-1 via penalties following a 0-0 stalemate.
Excitement as Pepsi hosts champions league finale watch party
By Our Reporter
Football lovers and enthusiasts were treated to a fun evening as Pepsi Uganda hosted the UEFA Champions league finale watch party on Saturday.
Held at The Square in Industrial Area, Liverpool supporters were the most joyous as their team defeated Tottenham Hot Spurs 2-0 to win this season’s UEFA Champions League.
The viewing party featured several fun activities including a quiz in which winners were rewarded different prizes like balls, jerseys and cash.
The event was held to mark the climax of Pepsi Uganda’s “Win like a baller” promotion. The promotion which was launched in early February presented a platform for soccer fans and lovers to win up to Ugx 15 million weekly in a TV draw and instant cash and airtime daily. Over Ugx 400 million was given out during the duration of the campaign.
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