Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter

LAS VEGAS — The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas was packed to the rafters for the official weighin of WBO welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley.

Pacquiao, aged 32, weighed in two pounds underneath the weight limit at 145 pounds, while the challenger Mosley, 39, weighed in right at the limit at 147 pounds.

Neither combatant could keep a straight face as they stared face to face before embracing in a final show of sportsmanship.

Pacquiao of General Santos City, Philippines with a record of 52-3-2 (38 KO), was clearly the crowd favorite as fans reacted strongly to his introduction and held signs that proclaimed him the sport's pound for pound king.

Mosley of Pomona, Calif., 49-6-1 (39 KO), was met with a mixture of boos and applause, though promoter Bob Arum and the ceremony's emcee James Brown both asked the crowd to give Mosley his due as "one of this generation's greatest fighters" and "an all-around great guy and humanitarian."

Arum still predictably reserved his highest praise for Pacquiao, who has held championships in eight weight classes.

"Manny Pacquiao, and I said this two years ago and it's even more true today, Manny is the greatest fighter I've ever seen," said Arum, who has promoted the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali and Oscar de la Hoya.

"He's fast, both with his feet and his hands, he has great ring intelligence and he can punch equally well with both hands. That's like a Major League pitcher who can throw equally well with either hand."

Former WBC light flyweight champion Rodel Mayol of Mandaue City, Philippines stepped on the scales at 112 pounds for his eight-round bout with Javier Gallo of Tijuana, Mex., who weighed in at 114 pounds.

The 29-year-old Mayol, 27-5-2 (21 KO), is looking to extend his winning streak to two after losing his title to Omar Nino Romero by decision last year. Mayol is promoted by Pacquiao's MP Promotions.

Gallo, who has a record of 17-3-1 (9 KO), is coming off his best win to date over 29-3 Jose Luis Araiza in March. Two of his three losses were by knockout.

Among the boxing personalities in attendance were former five-division champion Roberto "Manos de Piedras" Duran, Marco Antonio Barrera and current cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham. Former Filipino champions Gerry Penalosa, Morris East and Rolando Bohol were also among those on the scene.

Doors open tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM PT, with first fight starting at 3:10.

Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMANews.TV and the Filipino Reporter newspaper. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com . Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ryansongalia.

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