Hollywood royalty ready for fighters to rumble
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - With security beefed up at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the rich and famous settled into their expensive seats shortly before the welterweight showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao began on Saturday.
Tickets for a hotly anticipated megabout dubbed the "Fight of the Century" have been coveted by A-listers and high-rollers, with no guarantee that prime front row spots would be granted for every request from the biggest names in show business.
Around 900 ringside seats were available for the celebrities, business tycoons and entertainment moguls who have converged on Las Vegas, and actors Clint Eastwood and Ben Affleck were among those who secured the prized positions.
Tennis greats Andre Agassi and his wife, Steffi Graf, were also in the front rows, squeezed in alongside boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Hollywood stars Christian Bale and Michael Keating.
Other high-profile fans watching ringside, where seats have demanded up to $350,000 on the resale site StubHub, included former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and retired NBA stars Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller.
Also making their way into the Arena via the red carpet were American actors Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington and Claire Danes, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and English musician Sting.
The atmosphere in the heavily secured 16,800-seat Garden Arena was electric as the two fighters prepared to make their way to the ring for a bout that is expected to be the biggest grossing of all time with a 'Who's Who' of society looking on.
However, not every A-lister ended up close to the action with some of them bumped into the upper seating levels. Continued...