LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Manny Pacquiao weighed in just two pounds lighter than American Shane Mosley after the Filipino was welcomed by deafening cheers from his supporters on the eve of Saturday’s WBO welterweight title fight.
Pacquiao, 52-3-2 (38 knockouts), tipped the scales at 145 pounds in front of a boisterous crowd of about 6,500 at the MGM Grand Hotel’s Garden Arena.
Mosley, 46-6-1 (39 KOs), was weighed first and was right on the 147-pound limit for the scheduled 12-round bout.
The two fighters were all smiles as they posed for the photographers for their pre-fight pictures and they embraced one another once that task was done.
“I am just so excited to be in this fight,” Mosley, a 39-year-old veteran who is a three-division world champion, said on the stage. “The whole world is watching. It should be great.”
Pacquiao, a 10-times world champion in a record eight weight divisions, is a 6-1 favorite to win but he has taken great pains not to underestimate his American challenger.
“I believe that Shane Mosley is a strong fighter, a good fighter,” the 32-year-old Filipino said. “He has trained hard for this fight so I have to train hard and focus on this fight.”
Pacquiao and Mosley are renowned for being ideal boxing ambassadors and have refused to indulge in any of the pre-bout trash-talking so common in the sport.
“This is a good example for the boxing fans and for all the fighters,” Pacquiao told reporters earlier this week.
“The fight will be happy and a good example for the children who are idolizing the fighters, especially Mosley and me.”
The atmosphere was electric as the two fighters made their way on to a raised stage for Friday’s televised weigh-in where former boxing great Roberto Duran and Britain’s WBA world light welterweight champion Amir Khan were among those attending.
Shouts of “Manny, Manny” rang out before the tracksuit-clad boxers finally emerged, Pacquiao and Mosley each smiling and waving to the fans before stepping on to the scales.
There were also friendly boos for Mosley who, despite being born in nearby Pomona, California, had a much smaller number of supporters in the arena.
Pacquiao is fighting for the first time since he recorded a ruthless points victory over Mexican Antonio Margarito in November for his eighth world title in an unprecedented eight weight class.
Mosley has not competed in the ring since his draw with Sergio Mora in September.
Pacquiao, already acknowledged as one of the best offensive fighters of all time, is guaranteed $20 million from Saturday’s bout while Mosley will earn a minimum $5 million.
Editing by Peter Rutherford