Pacquiao to hold own fan rally at Mandalay as row with MGM Grand worsens
A group of Filipino bikers in Harleys join the Pacquiao caravan to Las Vegas. AP

LAS VEGAS – It seems the gap between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather is getting wider leading up to their highly-anticipated welterweight title showdown on Saturday night.

On Monday night (Tuesday, Manila time), the MGM Grand reportedly blocked all persons identified with Pacquiao from booking rooms in the hotel including members of the press covering the fight this weekend.

MGM has been a known Mayweather bailiwick, the unbeaten American champion having fought there is his last 10 bouts beginning with his win over Oscar dela Hoya in 2007.

The 38-year-old Mayweather is also signed to a six-fight contract by MGM, a deal which got the ire of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum after ads promoting Floyd Jr’s title bout against Marcos Maidana were prominently displayed in the hotel on the same week Pacquiao was to take on Timothy Bradley in the same venue.

The hostility between the two parties could explain why Pacquiao won’t be attending the traditional grand arrival at the MGM on Fight Week.

Instead, the Filipino boxing idol will be holding his own fan rally just before lunchtime at the lobby of the Mandalay Bay, where most members of Pacquiao’s entourage are currently billeted.

Pacquiao will be joined in the kickoff for Fight Week by seven-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, Arum, advisor Michaek Konz, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, and Pacman, the beloved Jack Russell Terrier and mascot of the team.

Mayweather meanwhile, will have his grand arrival at the MGM in the afternoon.

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