April 30, 2015 - Issue: Vol. 161, No. 64 — Daily Edition114th Congress (2015 - 2016) - 1st Session
PACQUIAO-MAYWEATHER FIGHT; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 64
(Senate - April 30, 2015)
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[Page S2544] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] PACQUIAO-MAYWEATHER FIGHT Mr. REID. Mr. President, as some know, I fought a little bit. I was in the minor leagues for a couple of years. As the Presiding Officer knows, in Nevada, on Saturday night, in Las Vegas, there is going to be a stunning athletic event, one of the most significant athletic events, actually, in the last 50 years. It is a wonderful occasion for Nevada to host the fight between Manny Pacquiao--I should say Congressman Pacquiao, who is a member of the Philippine Congress--and Floyd Mayweather. They will be battling for three separate titles. They are fighting for the 147-pound weight class--for all the people who think that is small, that is the class that--we have had some of our great fighters of all time who have fought that same weight level. These are two great athletes. The winner of the match will be crowned as the greatest pound for pound fighter in the world, and they will go down as two of the finest fighters ever in the history of the world. So regardless of who wins, this bout is projected to shatter boxing records for not only being a significant boxing match--the focus of the world will be on this fight. People all over the world will be watching this fight. They don't really know how many pay-per-view purchases are expected, but I made one last night. I was planning on going to the fight, but, as my friend the Presiding Officer knows, things have changed over the years. If we want to get one of those good seats, we have to pay for it. I have been willing to do that in the past, but the traffic was a little too heavy there, so I decided to watch it here with some of my family. But I am so happy that the pay-per-view purchases are expected to exceed 3 million people, and they won't get it any cheaper than I did--$99.95. So it is wonderful that all previous records will be broken as to revenue. The only thing I don't like about it is the fight doesn't start back here until 9 o'clock and usually they don't end until midnight. I wish they would start a little earlier, but, as I have learned with my baseball, they just start them later back here. I am very excited about this unforgettable fight. There is nothing like a championship fight. There is nothing like one that has all this attention. After I started practicing law, I started judging fights. I was on the Nevada fight commission, and I judged fights. I judged lots of fights. I can remember the first big fight I went to. Oh, it was a big fight. I walked in there, and I couldn't imagine there would be that much attention on anything. Of course, there were thousands of people there. I was excited. I was going to judge one of the preliminary fights. It was stunning. You see ringside all of these glamorous, important people. These fights catch the enthusiasm of sports fans all over the world. The eagerness that I have of watching this fight goes far beyond the sport of boxing or the spectacle of a marquis matchup. I am thrilled for Nevada. This fight will inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the State's economy. It will benefit Nevadans all--fighters and their teams, of course, hotels, restaurants, cab drivers, limousine drivers, parking valets, maids will get bigger tips than they usually get. It will be a great time for Nevada. So I have done everything I can within my power here as a Member of the legislature to help in any way that I can. I have interceded on a couple of occasions to help make this fight move forward, and I was very happy to do so. I love this sport. Some of my most prized possessions in my home are fight pictures. I have one picture of the great Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, and they both signed that picture before they died. I had the good fortune, when Joe Louis spent so much time at Caesars Palace, to have met him. I have pictures hanging on my wall of my dear father- in-law, who worked with fighters. I have a picture on the wall--they are all together--of him with Jack Dempsey, with Primo Carnera, who was 6 foot 7, a huge man--my father-in-law was about 5 foot 5--Sugar Ray Robinson. All these--not all of them, but many great fighters are there with my father-in-law. I love that picture, and it reminds me of my minor league experience in boxing. I am very excited about watching this fight. Las Vegas has been the entertainment capital of the world for a long time, and we are happy that, in fact, is the case. But a few short years ago, as the Presiding Officer knows, we were hit very hard. The debacle that took place on Wall Street hurt Nevada more than any other place. We have been recovering. We haven't recovered totally, but we have recovered significantly. The 2008 economic collapse took a heavy toll on Nevada. A quarter of Nevadans are employed in the tourism and hospitality industry, and when the recession hit, they got hurt, as did all working classes-- construction workers; everybody got hurt--but we fought our way back. Last year, we welcomed to Las Vegas 41 million people--little Las Vegas, 41 million people. It is not so little, but the Presiding Officer and I remember when it was a little place. But now it is a community with a metropolitan area of over 2 million people. Forty-one million people have come to Las Vegas and produced an economic impact of more than $50 billion. We shattered previous records by attracting 1.4 million more visitors than we did--in 2014. So it is only going to get better, and the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will keep that momentum going for Nevada. I am not picking a winner. I wish both men the best of luck. But, admittedly, I am a little biased because of my relationship with Manny Pacquiao. As the Presiding Officer will remember, one of my real campaigners in one of my difficult races was Manny Pacquiao. He campaigned for me. He broke training to come out of L.A., flew in for a big event I had one night. So you have to remember that kind of stuff. So I have a very good relationship with Manny Pacquiao. Certainly, I don't have a bad one with Floyd Mayweather, but I know Manny Pacquiao much better than I know Floyd Mayweather. He stood in my corner in the past, and he will always have my support. Regardless, though, of which fighter reigns supreme on that Saturday night--and one of them will. They are alone. Nobody is there with them. Regardless of who leaves the arena with that big belt, Nevada's hard- working economy will have won the fight. ____________________