The Most Exciting Mayweather-Pacquiao Action Happened Outside the Ring

Illustration by Cierra Pedro

Illustration by Cierra Pedro

It was, in the end, inevitable. Months of hype finally gave way to something you could’ve predicted from an isolation chamber on the surface of Mars. The pundits promised something more—maybe based on false hope or out of a sense of self-preservation that, without stoking the public’s desires, they’d quickly be out of a job. But anyone with two eyes and an ounce of common sense knew the outcome long before it became official:

Duck Commander is closing about a month after it premiered at the Rio.

Oh, you thought we were referring to that big fight. Yeah, about that: Public opinion may have cemented that the years-in-the-making Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight was less Thrilla in Manila than it was Bland in the Grand, but that didn’t stop a literal private jet parking crisis at McCarran’s executive terminal, what with all the high-rollers, celebs and Justin Bieber hangers-on winging their way into town.

Once all the A-listers made it into the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Jamie Foxx delivered a national anthem so mediocre that Jake Gyllenhaal—who sat ringside because he’s in an upcoming boxing movie, Southpaw—and director Antoine Fuqua were laughing it off as Foxx was singing.

The ring entrances had their own star power, with Mayweather gaming the product-placement system to the point that he had the Burger King accompany him. Pacquiao fired back by having Jimmy Kimmel, dressed like Bieber, as part of his entourage. Unlike Bieber, Kimmel wasn’t at Rehab hours before the May 2 fight mouthing “Fuck Pacquiao” to the cameras. Isn’t this the same Biebs who was all humble and contrite at the end of his Comedy Central roast? Kimmel-Burger King would’ve been a phenomenal undercard; Kimmel-Bieber would’ve upstaged the main event.

Chris Brown threw a blockbuster post-fight show at Drai’s, but somehow wasn’t the entertainer of choice for the champ’s official after-party, which is odd given how much he and Mayweather have in common. Like, you know, being friends with 50 Cent. Fiddy jumped onstage with Brown, along with Akon, Tyga, Busta Rhymes, Too $hort and Russell Westbrook.

The Tropicana scored a coup with Diddy doing his post-fight party at the Havana Room. Metro reported a non-fatal shooting in front of the Trop around 12:30 a.m. Diddy in the orbit of a shooting during a big Vegas fight? Was he nostalgic about Tupac? Suge Knight’s pretty easy to track down these days—can someone get his take on this? The best part about Diddy’s party is that he had extra money to throw around after winning his $250,000 wager with Pacquiao pal Mark Wahlberg. Hopefully that quarter-mil puts a dent in the funding for Pain & Gain 2.

More post-fight celebrity parties: Nicki Minaj did Chateau with Funkmaster Flex; Drew Barrymore posted up at Hakkasan; and Marquee got Jay Z and Beyoncé (whose ringside cleavage was probably the distraction that ultimately sank Pacquiao). It was Omnia, though, that went after and reeled in the big fish the night before the big bout: Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper partied at the Caesars club May 1 until 3 a.m. Which meant that any other guy in the club had as much chance of bringing home a girl as Pacquiao ever did of beating Mayweather. There’s an eerie symmetry there.

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