Any visiting Martians out there wondering what professional boxing is all about might be enlightened to learn that the hot-air press conference here on Wednesday for the Fight Of The Century lasted eight minutes longer than it is possible for Saturday night’s bout to detain us.
“Opening day and here’s the first pitch, and the season’s over.”
As befits the pantomime buffoonery that attends professional fisticuffs, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather made their “grand entrances” in Las Vegas on Tuesday in separate casinos, a mile and several hours apart, an appropriate metaphor for the lingering distance between them.
There is more at stake here on Saturday night than the unification of three versions of the welterweight title.
A lingering shadow hangs over Floyd Mayweather. As hundreds of journalists from around the world descend on Las Vegas this week to pour over every detail of his fight against Manny Pacquiao, the best boxer of his generation stands accused of making light of his troubling history of abusing women.
When Amir Khan sits alongside the cream of American sporting royalty at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night, in a ringside seat worth around $100,000 (about £66,000) on the black market, he will be there as a guest of Al Haymon, the adviser he shares with Floyd Mayweather.
Fittingly, for a man whose epic achievements in the saddle have more than a whiff of Hollywood about them, the greatest jump jockey of all time, AP McCoy, yesterday rode off into the sunset on a horse called Box Office.
Usain Bolt has said Tyson Gay should have been “kicked out of the sport” for doping and labelled the decision to reduce the American’s ban and reinstate him as “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”.
As Paula Radcliffe prepares to run her final competitive marathon on Sunday in London, she laughs as she remembers a conversation with the then race director, Dave Bedford, in those moments of happy delirium following her world record in 2003.
On the eve of one of the biggest races of the year, the Tour de Yorkshire, the crisis in British cycling deepened on Thursday night as the former world points race champion Simon Yates was confirmed as having an adverse analytical finding in a drugs test in March through what appeared to be an error in procedure when using a drug for a medical condition on prescription.
Tyson Fury’s serial burlesque continued in Cologne on Thursday but the world heavyweight champion did not sound as if he was joking when he said he would probably quit boxing if he lost his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko in Manchester on 9 July.
One hundred days from Rio, Britain’s national cycling team has been thrown into chaos following the sudden resignation of its head, technical director Shane Sutton, as allegations of bullying and discrimination against women and Paralympians accumulated on Wednesday.