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Mayweather-Pacquiao: What Time Will the Fight Start?

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The timing of a prizefight depends on everything from the results of the undercard to the unpredictable whims of the two boxers

Saturday’s fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is a mega-event, many years in the making, worth hundreds of millions of dollars for both boxers. It’s a brawl that will define their careers: The sport will see Mayweather and Pacquiao differently when the fight is over.

But first the fight has to start. And no one has any idea when that’s going to happen.

The other circled events on the sports calendar run on carefully coordinated schedules. The Super Bowl, for example, kicks off at exactly 6:30 p.m. ET. But boxing doesn’t believe in that type of precise organization. The timing of a prizefight depends on everything from the results of the undercard to the unpredictable whims of the two people who are preparing to punch each other in front of an international audience. Not even sports books are taking bets on the opening bell. The only thing anyone involved with the fight can say for sure is that it won’t begin earlier than 11 p.m. ET.

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“I never like to predict,” said David Dinkins Jr., the executive producer of Showtime and HBO’s pay-per-view production.

To figure out what time Saturday’s main event might start, though, the Count went back and looked at Mayweather and Pacquiao’s last 10 fights. Here’s what we learned: The fight will almost certainly begin after 12 a.m. ET. How much after, however, is a question that’s impossible to answer.

Mayweather and Pacquiao’s previous bouts have begun as early as approximately 11:09 p.m. ET. But their most hyped fights were also the most delayed. The opening bell in Mayweather’s bout against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2013 was rung around 12:36 a.m. The start times of boxing’s biggest nights also hint at how incredibly strange this sport can be. On the night of Pacquiao’s first fight against Timothy Bradley in 2012, for example, the undercard was over when there was a slight logistical problem: Pacquiao was busy watching the end of a Boston Celtics playoff game and nobody wanted to bother him.

 

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– Ben Cohen WSJ

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