According to the latest sources, formal negotiations have begun to bring the highly anticipated mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to reality.
Ever since Pacquiao's 12th round stoppage of Miguel Cotto, everyone from the media to the fighters’ respective promoters have been speculating on all aspects of what could turn out to be a fight for the ages.
Judging from the most recent matchups from these two fighters—Pacquiao-Cotto, Pacquiao-Hatton, Mayweather-Marquez, and Mayweather-De La Hoya—there will be no shortage of fans willing to pay premium fare to see these two mix it up.
And there will be no shortage of A-list celebrities mugging at ringside at this blockbuster event.
But assuming that the fighters and, more importantly, the promoters can push egos aside and bring this fight to fruition, the question is: Where will this fight happen?
Well, I can tell you where it should not happen.
For starters, I can't think of a worse place than Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas.
Billed as the "world's largest domed stadium," this football shrine is an homage to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his reputation for excess. Though impressive from an architectural standpoint, this venue is all wrong for this particular fight.
With all due respect to the residents of Arlington, just how pumped up can one get about going to Arlington for the big fight? Think we'd see those same celebrities who are used to staying at The Bellagio and The Hotel busting down the door at the Arlington Sheraton?
Not to mention, the place is so big, you have to wonder how a 20x20 foot ring will look from the cheap seats.
A similar East Coast version, the new Yankee Stadium, has also been mentioned as a potential battleground.
Though a slightly better option than Cowboys stadium, the place is similarly huge, and you get the feeling that two 147-pound boxers might get lost in the middle of that big field under that busy New York skyline.
While crossing the bridge to Manhattan offers a suitable option at the great Madison Square Garden, many feel MSG, "The World's Most Famous Arena," is too far east for the strong Pacquiao contingent coming out of California and further—Hawaii and the Philippines.
Sure, we know the likes of Jay-Z and Giuliani will be ringside, as well as a stable of New York A-listers, rappers, and athletes.
But what you gain in New York style, you will lose in the number of diehard fans from LA, San Francisco, and the Philippines that were able to saturate the Cotto fight.
These are the types of fans that you want to see at these fights—the ones of all ages, draped in flags and t-shirts bearing their hero's image. Many of these fans didn't even have a ticket, but drove hundreds of miles or flew into town to show their support and be part of the event.
How many of those Filipino families that I saw—grandmas and babies in tow—will be able to afford a hotel in mid-town Manhattan?
And while Los Angeles would serve the West Coast connection properly, and undoubtedly bring plenty of celebrities to the seats, the Staples Center just doesn't feel majestic enough or important enough to house one of the potentially great fights in the history of the sport.
No, the only city that seems appropriate for this type of event is the City of Sin, Las Vegas.
It satisfies the West Coast fanbase. It's the home of the Mayweathers. It's the location of so many big title fights, there are too many to list. It’s proven. And it's the only place that won't be questioned when this fight happens.
From my perspective, it's the only place that makes sense.
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