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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 May 2007, 05:55 GMT 06:55 UK
Las Vegas diary
By Mike Costello
BBC Radio Five Live boxing correspondent

Five Live's Mike Costello is in Las Vegas as the countdown begins to Saturday's super-fight between Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather.

And he soaks up the atmosphere ahead of the eagerly anticipated fight.

AND NOW THE END IS NEAR...

The final press conference - in the hotel theatre where Tom Jones and his hair lacquer are now playing - was generally subdued.

Maybe, after six months of trading barbs and insults, De la Hoya and Mayweather decided their energy was better saved.

Floyd Mayweather
A pensive Mayweather looks on during the final big-fight press conference

For the first time in an exhaustive promotional journey, both men looked apprehensive, even emotional, as they spoke.

Sugar Ray Leonard told us on Five Live last month how he believed his victory over Marvelous Marvin Hagler 20 years ago was created during the build-up.

De la Hoya and Mayweather have been involved in 45 world title fights between them. They know about wrestling with the demons of doubt.

So has the fight already been won and lost?

TALK OF THE TOWN

There are ways and means of assessing the magnitude of a fight. Money, venue, crowd, fighters' status - and the chambermaid test.

Richie Woodhall is here as part of Five Live's commentary team and was stunned to be badgered by the bearer of bed-linen on leaving his hotel room the other day.

She hit him with the two questions everyone around here seems to be asking: "Where are you watching the fight?" and "Who's gonna win?"

WALK OF LEGENDS

Another measure of the crossover appeal of the fight is the media centre.

Sited next to the Grand Garden Arena, it spans roughly half the size of a regular football pitch and is home to 1,100 writers, broadcasters and photographers.

At times, it ought to be renamed the Hall of Fame.

Tommy Hearns, Shane Mosley, Winky Wright, Bernard Hopkins, Emanuel Steward and Freddie Roach have all wandered in and around over the past couple of days.

Chambermaids up and down the Strip might be swooning over De La Hoya but this is a fighter's fight too.

A clock at the entrance is counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to go - and some of us, like kids on Christmas Eve - are wondering why it ticks so slowly.



SEE ALSO
Sparring with Mayweather
04 May 07 |  Boxing
Boxing's saviours?
01 May 07 |  Boxing
Mayweather threatens De la Hoya
21 Feb 07 |  Boxing
Mayweather savages 'fat' Hatton
05 Feb 07 |  Boxing


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