Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Boxing's richest fight, ever

ap364897470925.jpg

Jose Arroyo installs an advertisement for a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight is scheduled to take place May 2 at the hotel and casino.

AP Photo/John Locher

Just five days before the biggest fight of their careers, the hype machines of the camps of both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao were in full overdrive, reports CBS News special correspondent James Brown. They are widely considered the two best boxers of this era.

A couple thousand people, mostly Filipinos, turned out at a rally for their countryman - eight-time world champion Pacquiao. Even more fans turned out to cheer undefeated champ Mayweather.

But when CBS News talked to both fighters, their calm demeanors belied the hoopla swirling around them.

For 38-year old Mayweather, it's about his maturity. Asked whether it bothers him that he's characterized as being brash, cocky and ostentatious, Mayweather said he's trying not to focus on negative things.

"Yes, I have a lotta personality. Yes, I'm very outspoken... But I'm older and wiser now. You know, I'm closer to 40 than I am to 21," Mayweather said.

For the 36-year-old Pacquiao, it's about his newfound faith. He said it took five years for this fight to happen because it's "God's plan that it will happen now."

Pacquiao said he still has the skill to make this as big a fight as fans are hoping it will be.

The expectations for this fight are almost as high as the purse. The boxing public has been clamoring for it for years. Mayweather and Pacquiao are expected to split about $300 million, and last week, it took less than one minute to sell out 500 tickets made available to the general public.

The amount of money is not lost on the fighters who both grew up in modest circumstances.

"I never imagined in my life that I can be like this. God raised me from nothing into something," Pacquiao said.

"I look at where I come from to where I'm at now," Mayweather said. "Mother on drugs. Dad is a drug dealer. Dad had been to prison... Seven living in a one bedroom, to where I'm at now. I'm blessed. I'm blessed. I'm truly, truly blessed."

Despite their similarities, some in the media have cast the fight as good versus evil: born-again Christian Pacquiao against the brash champion who served two months in jail for domestic violence against the mother of three of his children.

Mayweather has been reluctant to talk about his past legal issues, but touched on them with CBS News.

"I'm black. I'm rich. I'm outspoken. Those are three strikes against me already," Mayweather said. "Am I a target? Absolutely. Did they blow things outta proportion? Absolutely. They did. And I took a plea. Not to drag my children and my family through the mud, because I'm a real man."

Whatever the storylines outside the ring, the two men inside on Saturday will feel the weight of history on their shoulders.

"I think one of the very important fight in my legacy," Pacquiao said.

Mayweather said people can expect excitement in this fight.

"I know it's going to be a good fight," he said.