NORWALK – It was business as usual on Tuesday for Norwalk’s boxing program, located in the city’s Art and Sports Complex. However, despite all the normal punches and jabs being thrown in the gym, everyone seemed to have their eyes fixed on Las Vegas. Floyd “Money” Mayweather will take on Manny Pacquiao Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in front of close to a 17,000-person crowd. The undefeated, 11-time world champion Mayweather will put his World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight and World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight titles on the line in what many are calling the “fight of the century.” Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) crown will also be up for grabs.
The upcoming fight was a source of excitement for most individuals who participate in Norwalk’s boxing club.
Mike Anchondo, one of the boxing coaches at the club, described Saturday’s event as a “mega-fight.”
“All eyes [are] on them right now; kind of like all the eggs are in this basket right here,” said Anchondo. “The promoters love it. The media loves it. The casinos love it. It’s going to be electricity come May 2nd.”
Opinions were split amongst Norwalk’s boxing loyal concerning the final outcome, however, Pacquiao seemed to hold slightly more favor within the program’s athletes.
Andrew Eslao, one of the program members, stood loyally behind his pick.
“Pacquiao,” Eslao said. “For homeland. That’s my countryman. We gotta stick with each other. I think he has what it takes.”
Joey Olivo, another boxing coach, cited specific techniques that he thought would bring the Fighting Pride of the Philippines victory.
“Pacquiao is more of a busy fighter than Mayweather. He fights from all angles,” said Olivo. Olivo also noted differences in the outcomes of fights that both fighters had with similar opponents, stating that many of the fighters Pacquiao knocked out seemed to keep up with Mayweather.
Mayweather had some support in the Norwalk Gym.
“Obviously Mayweather,” said Anthony Gomez. “He has the skill, and he owns Vegas. He never disappoints me whenever I watch him.”
Some of Norwalk’s younger athletes also showed excitement for the fight. Destiny Jara, 12, expressed real enthusiasm for watching the bout this weekend. Jara has been boxing for around five months.
“I’m gunna have a cookout at my grandma’s,” said Jara. She is also rooting for Pacquiao.
Despite the mixed opinions over who the winner will be, everyone in the club seemed to agree on how the fight would end. No one seemed to believe that the bout would end in a knockout, and would fall to a decision after the full 12 rounds. Mayweather and Pacquiao have 26 and 38 KO’s to their claim, respectfully.
Everyone also agreed that this would not be the last time that the two fighters meet.
“It’s going to be a good fight,” said Anchondo. “The magnitude of this fight and the want for it with the fans, they’re going to want a second fight. The revenue would be astronomical; it’d be a deal they couldn’t refuse. That’s boxing. That’s what boxing does to you.”
Published: April 30, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 03