This Saturday is the much-anticipated and overhyped Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather, Jr. boxing match. Billed as the “Fight of the Century,” tickets for this fight sold out in two minutes and are selling on the secondary market for over $350,000 a ticket! Add in a flight to Vegas and a room for a couple of nights at the MGM Grand (where the fight is being held), and you could be looking at almost a half million dollars to watch two guys beat each other up for a few minutes.
Alternatively, you can go to a local bar and watch the match, pay a cover charge, and drink overpriced beer while trying to catch a glimpse of the fight over dozens of others in the place.
But the best way to watch the fight, in my opinion, is to buy it from your cable provider for $100, invite a few buddies over (to help cover the cable charge), and make a night of it.
That being said, here are my top six tips for hosting a killer Pacquiao-Mayweather fight night party!
• Start early. This is like a springtime Super Bowl with many undercards and other events leading up to the main fight. The first undercard fight starts at 3 p.m. Las Vegas time, which is already 6 p.m. on the east coast. The main event doesn’t get going until five hours later, which means lots of time for a great party to be had. But what are you going to do until the main event? Keep reading.
• Load up the BBQ. Nothing adds to the machismo of a good night of boxing like tons of meat. Now that the weather is agreeable for most of the country, it’s a perfect night to fire up the BBQ. Steaks, ribs, chops, and wings are perfect to grill while watching the “sweet science” in action. Don’t do everything at once. Try to space out your grilling over the course of the night and remember to have something for a post-fight snack.
TIP: Whatever you do, don’t order pizza. Events like this, or any other big sporting events for that matter, usually result in the pizza guys getting overflowed with calls. This results in either delivery delays or poor-quality food (because they’re rushing), if not both.
• Load up on beverages. You’re going to have a bunch of guys over eating meat and watching fights. You’re going to need something to wash it down. Beer will probably be your go-to. Depending on your setup and how many guys are coming over, you might want to get a keg of beer. Order it from the store a day or two in advance. Like the pizza guys, stores will see a spike in beer and liquor sales, so make sure you plan early. Keep the beers cold by filling your bathtub with ice. Also, have a good whisky (single malt scotch, blended scotch, or bourbon) on hand. Beer is refreshing while you’re eating, but a smooth scotch or bourbon after you’ve stuffed your face is a nice way to finish the night.
• Your TV. You need a big screen, plain and simple. If you don’t have one, get one. Heck, if you have a neighbor who has a big screen, invite him and his TV over. Tell him he can watch the fight and since he’s bringing the TV, he doesn’t have to pay his share for the cable. Make sure the TV is well positioned so that all the guys can see it from multiple angles, like from the couch directly in front and chairs flanking the sides at 45-degree angles. Remember to have tables ready for food, snacks, and beverages throughout the night.
TIP: Keep the TV away from a window. If you’re on the east coast, the festivities are starting while the sun is starting to set. This could result in a huge glare.
• Have other distractions. If your friends love to play cards, set up a card game (poker or anything else) to keep you busy during the undercards and all the other hype leading up to the main event. You can also have a fight pool. On a large sheet of paper or Bristol board, create two 1×12 grids, one on the top and one on the bottom. It should look something like this:
Each guy can put his initials in the grid squares until they’re all filled. Then take two small pieces of paper and write “Pacquiao” on one and “Mayweather” on the other. Put them in a hat and blindly pick the first one out. Whichever one you pick, write that name above the top grid. The other name will then be written on the bottom. Then take 12 more small squares of paper, each with a number from 1 to 12. Put them in the hat and start blindly pulling them out one at a time. Write each number down on the top grid first (from left to right), then repeat for the bottom grid.
After this is done, your grids might look like this:
When the fight is on, each person now has a final round assigned to their name. So for example, if Mayweather knocks out Pacquiao in the fifth round, the person who has his initials on the square labeled “Mayweather 5” is the winner—in the sample grid above, it would be JW. If Pacquiao knocks Mayweather out in the third round, MZ would win the pool.
You can also create another pool by having different kinds of prop bets, like, “Who will land the first punch?”, “Who will be the first to be knocked down?” or “How will the fight end: TKO or decision?”
This adds even more elements of entertainment to your night.
• Have an after-fight plan. Once the fight is over, you can keep the party going at your place, going out somewhere, or by calling it a night. Regardless of what you decide, chances are both you and your guests are going to have enjoyed a lot of alcoholic beverages. Book taxis for you or your friends (to either go out or get home) in the hours before the party starts. That should help reduce the chances of having to wait for one—even better if someone is willing to be a designated driver. A good host will always let his friends crash at his place, so make sure you have plenty of couch space and a few extra blankets around.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is one of the biggest sporting events of our generation. And while there’s no guarantee that the fight itself will live up to the hype surrounding it, you can host a great party that will not disappoint. Enjoy, eat and drink well, and stay safe!
“Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao Boxing Tickets,” StubHub web site; http://www.stubhub.com/boxing-tickets/mayweather-vs-pacquiao-5-2-2015-9249063/, last accessed April 28, 2015.
Photo Credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com (Manny Pacquiao), Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com (Floyd Mayweather, Jr.)