LAS VEGAS, Nevada, May 5 – If Filipino pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao gets his way on Saturday, Shane Mosley will be seeing a blur of yellow at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
The eight-division world champion and Filipino congressman plans to wear yellow boxing gloves in the ring for his world title fight Saturday as a symbol of his struggle to end poverty in his native Philippines.
"All my life I have had to fight. At first as a child I had to fight just to get something to eat," said Pacquiao. "I believe this world needs new heroes. The biggest fight in my life is not in boxing but it is now to end poverty in my country.
"So this Saturday I will wear yellow gloves as a symbol of unity."
Pacquiao marks his return to Las Vegas for the first time since November 2009 by fighting America Mosley for the World Boxing Organization welterweight title.
Tickets for the scheduled 12-round fight at the Garden Arena sold out five weeks in advance. Millions more are expected to watch the fight from the Philippines and around the world on pay-per-view television.
Pacquiao and the four-time world champion Mosley stood side-by-side and posed for pictures at a news conference in the Hollywood Theater inside the MGM hotel on Wednesday.
They spoke briefly from the podium which also featured trainers, managers and support staff from both camps. Promoter Bob Arum said they are pleased bring Pacquiao back to Las Vegas after staging both of Pacquiao’s fights last year at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
"We had two fights in the stadium in Dallas we are happy to be back here in Las Vegas," Arum said. "Las Vegas needs to have these kinds of fights."
The outgoing mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman and Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Hill were also in attendance. Goodman presented both fighters with "good luck mayor gambling chips". The Grammy-award winning Hill has teammed up with aspiring singer Pacquiao who regularly covers Hill’s classic 1970’s ballad "Sometimes When We Touch".
No doubt Hill will get an invite to Pacquiao’s post-fight "Beach Party" at the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel where ‘Pac-Man’ plans to perform with his band.
Pacquiao warmed up for the occasion by singing a line from the song at Wednesday’s news conference.
The announcement of the Beach Party and Pacquiao’s planned singing engagement immediately after the title fight drew chuckles from the Mosley camp. But there was no trash talking as the camps kept their distance.
The 39-year-old Mosley, of Los Angeles, may have a 3 1/2 inch height advantage and 7 1/2 inch reach advantage but he gives away seven years in age to the younger and heavily favoured Pacquiao.
Mosley said he doesn’t mind being the underdog.
"That’s fine. My goal is to get the victory and the win. We can talk about me being the underdog after the fight.
"I can do all the things I used to do five years ago. Don’t ask me about 10 years ago because I can’t remember back that far," Mosley joked.
Pacquiao said he had enjoyed one of his best training camps ever and is hoping to validate that by do something no other boxer has been able to achieve before: prevent Mosley from going the distance.
Mosley has gone 53 fights in his 18-year career without being knocked out.
The Filipino southpaw said the last time he trained this hard for a fight was 2008 when he fought Oscar de la Hoya and beat him in eight rounds.
"I am 100 percent and I would never underestimate Mosley," Pacquiao said. "He is not old. He moves like a 31-year old and he still has a lot of speed."
Pacquiao has won 13 fights in a row and has not lost in nearly six years. In that span he has dispatched such stars as de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao has also claimed world titles in eight weight classes. He typically divides his time training for a fight between the Philippines and the USA but for this fight they decided to make a change.
So they spent five weeks, instead of three, training in Los Angeles.
"We are ready for this fight," trainer Freddie Roach said. "This has been our best training camp ever and Manny is in the best shape. He has to be because we are fighting one of the most crafty fighters ever in Shane Mosley."