It’s being billed as the “fight of the century”, and as the clock counts down towards tonight’s welterweight championship bout between the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao, Victoria fans seem to agree.
Manager Clarissa Haider at the Strathcona Hotel said, “last night the phone was ringing off the hook with people looking for tickets”. When the fight was announced weeks ago, she did not hesitate in securing the rights for the Games Room at the Sticky Wicket to show it. “I knew that we needed to have this, and that we would likely be the only venue with the foresight to order it, downtown”. The fight does not come cheap, media reports suggest Canadian bars must pay about $20 per head for the rights to show it.
At press time this morning, Haider said the Strathcona was trying to find a way to increase capacity beyond the 130 tickets that were sold out days ago.
Further up Douglas St., Tally Ho General Manager Sean Poole is preparing for an extra busy day at his sports pub. Today is also the first of the big three “triple crown” horse races, the Kentucky Derby, and the Tally Ho is the off-track betting centre in Victoria. “We’ll be full all afternoon with horse racing fans, and then after that (the main race is 3:26pm) we’ll turn the 351 seats over and fill again with a new set of boxing fans”. Reserved seating for the match has been sold out for some time, but walk-ups might find space if they arrive very early.
In Saanich, the Fox Showroom Pub expects its 225 seats to be full well before 5pm. Manager Loran Werrun said, “this is the biggest fight ever, and it cost a fair amount to bring it in”. Werrun also promises exotic dancers on stage right after the main event and, “between fights if we can squeeze one or two songs in”.
On the Peninsula, a senior bartender at the Waddling Dog says they are showing the fight – with no cover charge – as a way to show customer appreciation, and to remind fans that they do many pay-per-view boxing events at that venue. He says customers ought to be there before the 4pm-6pm “happy hour” if they expect to find a seat.
On the West Shore, the only venue showing the fight has been sold out for more than a week. Kris Schill at the 17-Mile Pub says they combined the fight with a prime rib dinner, and tickets were enthusiastically snapped up by their “regulars”.
As of Thursday, distributor CanadaStar Boxing reported that the fight can also be seen locally at the Shark Club, and Boston Pizza at 3510 Blanshard.
The fight can of course be ordered for home viewing. Shaw TV customers can order a standard definition broadcast for $89, or hi-def for $94 plus taxes.