Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 | 11:04 a.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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Music and Hollywood stars joined top athletes and comedians in a huge celebrity turnout at the controversial Round 4 knockout victory by new WBA Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. over Victor Ortiz at MGM Grand Garden Arena last night. Despite boos at hometown fighter Floyd that drowned out TV commentators, he walked away with the welterweight championship belt and a payday of at least $25 million after a 15-month break from the ring.
Actors Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and True Blood stars and real-life couple Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin were joined by hip-hop moguls Diddy and 50 Cent in the sellout crowd. Also there: comedians Paul Rodriguez, Kevin Hart and Gabriel Iglesias and former The View host Star Jones.
Magic Johnson led an all-star lineup of boxers and other athletes, including Mike Tyson, Leon Spinks and Oscar de la Hoya, plus Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, who commemorated the 30th anniversary of their big fight at Caesars Palace in which Sugar Ray defeated the Hitman. Also there: David Haye, Devon Alexander, Sergio Mora, Chuck Zito, Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, Caron Butler of the Dallas Mavericks, Paulie Malignaggi and Winky Wright.
Floyd’s fourth-round knockout of Victor will be talked about forever. You can reach your own verdict on the controversy by reading reports of all the fight action and the post-bout news conferences by Las Vegas Sun Sports Editor Ray Brewer and writer Case Keefer.
In addition to the sold-out crowd at MGM Grand, there were hosted viewing parties all over town. Diddy and Mark Wahlberg even hosted their own after-parties at the Palms. Thanks to Tom Donoghue and Erik Kabik for their sensational photos. Check back to Vegas DeLuxe later for our roundup of the after-fight parties.
The crowd may have booed Floyd and cheered for Victor after that fourth-round head butt and subsequent KO, but they really got into an earlier fight on the card with Mexican legend Erik Morales battling Pablo Cesar Cano.
Check out this photo gallery from Erik, who told me: “This fight really was the fight of the night as far as action and staying power stamina. Legendary Erik Morales became the first fighter from Mexico to win world titles in four weight classes when he scored a TKO over Pablo Cesar Cano in the 10th round. Morales won the vacant WBC super lightweight title.
“Cano’s corner stopped the fight because their fighter was bleeding profusely from a cut under his left eye and also from his nose. Morales also had a cut over his left eye. It was a bloody, action-packed fight with a great ending for Morales, who is now 52-7.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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