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Charge for weigh-in tickets a boxing first; proceeds will go to charity

One of the most anticipated moments of any fight week is the weigh-in, especially in Las Vegas, where fans often jam the MGM Grand Garden Arena to cheer, chant and get a look at the boxers in one more faceoff the day before they fight.

In recent years, weigh-ins for fights involving Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have been nearly as electric as the arena on some fight nights. And the beauty of it for fight fans is that by state law in Nevada, weigh-ins are free public events in the same category as a Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting.

However, because of the massive fan turnout expected in Las Vegas for the May 2 showdown between Mayweather and Pacquiao, the promoters and the MGM Grand, in consultation with the NSAC, have decided to charge a $10 admission to the weigh-in -- a first, at least in modern boxing history, although the money generated from ticket sales will go to charity.

"All of the money that is generated from the weigh-in, every dollar, is going to charity," Brad Jacobs, the executive event producer for Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter, told ESPN.com on Thursday.

Jacobs said the reason for the nominal charge is to help with crowd control.

"What we wanted to do was avoid the craziness you've seen at the Mayweather and Pacquiao weigh-ins where you have people sleeping out in front of the arena the night before and basically camping out," Jacobs said. "We want to avoid that. We want some orderly fashion to it so people needed to have a ticket like they need to a concert or a fight, so there's no reason for a big crowd to get there the night before.

"They will all be reserved seats. You have your ticket. There's no craziness waiting in line trying to get into the arena."

Jacobs said the full MGM Grand Garden Arena will be open for the weigh-in, as has been the case for the past few Mayweather weigh-ins, as opposed to only a portion of the arena typically being open for other fights. Jacobs said Top Rank and Pacquiao will donate their share of the proceeds to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which has a branch in Las Vegas and has done extensive studies on the brain health of boxers.

Jacobs said Mayweather has designated his share of the ticket sales to go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, a breast cancer charity the fighter has supported through the years.

"We're still working everything out, but they will be sold through the regular MGM ticket outlets and we'll be distributing the information on how and when people can get tickets," Jacobs said.

Of course, tickets for the fight itself have still not gone on sale yet with 16 days to go because of contract issues between the promoters and the MGM Grand.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said he supports the idea of selling weigh-in tickets to help with crowd control as well as to raise money for charity.

"I suggested it a few weeks ago. I said we should sell tickets to the weigh-in as long as the money goes to charity," Arum said. "It's a good idea because nobody is going to profit and the charge will be reasonable. If [it] goes to charity, that's a good thing, right?

"Charging money for the weigh-in and putting the money in the pockets of the hotel or the fighters or the promoters would be wrong. I also think the promotion should make a sizable donation to charity on top of this."

Jacobs said the idea came up during one of the weekly meetings about event security.

"The weigh-in became one of the topics, and this became the process we thought was best," Jacobs said. "I think we all agreed on it in about 30 seconds."