Manny Pacquiao's boxing gloves, which had been approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for Saturday's fight with Floyd Mayweather, became the source of an 11th-hour dispute between the boxers' camps Friday. About five hours after they weighed in, the issue was settled.
The factory-sealed gloves had been inspected by the commission's executive director and chief inspector earlier this week. Shortly after Friday's weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Pacquiao's camp was informed by the commission that Mayweather's representatives contested the use of Pacquiao's preferred Reyes-manufactured boxing gloves.
According to those close to the situation, a contract exists between the two camps that states Mayweather will wear Grant-manufactured gloves, Pacquiao will wear Reyes gloves and neither set can be horse-hair-style boxing gloves. It's common for the inside padding of boxing gloves to be made from horse hair, foam or a combination of both.
Mayweather's camp protested the commission's approval of Pacquiao's gloves, claiming the Reyes gloves are horse-hair style and do not satisfy the contract. Reyes gloves are commonly known as a puncher's glove among boxing insiders.
Mayweather's representatives noted the fight contract states Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp., plays the role of arbiter for items involving the promotion that require mutual approval. Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, argued that did not apply to the fighters' gloves. Moonves, who was instrumental in helping bridge the sides for the long-anticipated fight, was informed of the dispute Friday afternoon.
Pacquiao's representatives, including Top Rank president Todd deBoef, Freddie Roach's adviser/agent Nick Khan and attorney Daniel Petrocelli huddled in a room just behind the arena floor where the commission was holding the glove selection process. Pacquiao's representatives stood firm in their position that Moonves had no jurisdiction over the Nevada State Athletic Commission's inspection and approval of fighter equipment. They were asked by the commission to return for a further review of the gloves at 7:15 p.m. PT. At that meeting, Mayweather's reps acquiesced, and both sides chose their preapproved gloves.
A similar issue was brought forth by Mayweather prior to his May 3, 2014, fight with Marcos Maidana, when the commission did not approve the gloves put forth by Mayweather's opponent. However, in this case, Pacquiao's gloves had been inspected, approved and held in the possession of the commission to avoid any threat to the pay-per-view bout going on as scheduled.