Floyd Mayweather meets Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night in Las Vegas to decide who is the greatest boxer of their generation.
The betting favourite heading into the most lucrative match in boxing history is a defensive boxer known for winning often boring decisions.
His opponent is a power-punching national hero whose career has been an epic march across boxing’s lighter weight divisions, writing his name into legend through thrilling clashes, which he’s mostly won.
At 47-0, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr, 38, has rarely been threatened in the ring.
Bookmakers list him at about 2-to-1 over Manny Pacquiao,36, the pride of the Philippines. The left-handed Pacquiao’s exceptional work rate have brought him huge popularity in the Philippines, where he is also an elected congressman.
The line started a bit wider but has narrowed with the approach of Saturday’s fight, which is scheduled to start after 8 pm (0300 Sunday GMT) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Former champion Oscar De La Hoya, who retired in 2008 after losses to both fighters, said in a Los Angeles Times commentary that he has gravitated toward Pacquiao heading into fight week.
De La Hoya called him “a fly you can’t shoo away. He seemed to be throwing thousands of punches at me, and I just couldn’t get him off me.”
Bad-boy Mayweather, is infamous for his ostentatious spending and stripclub-hopping with troubled singer Justin Bieber.
Mayweather’s brash persona has made him the world’s highest-paid sportsman, topping the 2014 Forbes list with $105 million that year. But he lacks a level of respect that money can’t buy.
Mayweather’s personal image is likely irreparable. He remains dogged by a perception of ducking tough fights and cherry-picking vulnerable opponents.
Mexican beer brand Tecate paid more than $5 million to put its logo in the centre of the ring.
US pay-per-view television captures the big money in combat sports, and Saturday’s price is set at an unprecedented $100 per household.
The final purse could be $300 million, with Mayweather taking 60 per cent and Pacquiao 40 per cent, Sports Illustrated reported.