After years of negotiations and hellacious requests, what just might be the fight of the century between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao finally goes down tonight, with the card beginning at 9PM EST, and the main event at 11:30PM EST. No more what ifs and speculation, tonight Mayweather puts his perfect 47-0 record on the line against Manny Pacquiao to cement his legacy as one of the best fighters of all-time. The uber-exclusive event rightfully has Las Vegas in a frenzy, with area hotel rooms going for ten-times their normal rate, and tickets for the bout selling for an astounding $3,500 — for the worst seat in the house!
Unless you have an inside connection to Money Mayweather — or a Scrooge McDuck-style vault — chances are you’ll stick to the ol’ boob tube to catch Saturday’s big clash. The marquee event’s legendary status prompted HBO and Showtime to spend the better part of last week crippling several streaming sites, making it incredibly hard to gain viewing access to the fight without breaking out your wallet. While viewers living in Mexico, France, or Thailand get treated to free broadcasts, those living stateside don’t get to enjoy this luxury. To help with the decision of where to watch, we’ve put together this simple guide on how to catch Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao’s highly anticipated showdown.
Standard definition: $90 | High definition: $100 – both with a valid cable subscription
For months leading up to the fight, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Showtime) and Manny Pacquiao (HBO) sparred outside the ring over whose cable partnership deserved the rights to the Pay-Per-View broadcast. After much deliberation, the duo decided to allow competing premium networks HBO and Showtime to offer a joint broadcast of the big fight.
For subscribers to valid cable providers, the Pay-Per-View broadcast comes in two separate varieties: A stiff $90 scores fans access to the standard definition broadcast of the main event, as well as two other scheduled undercard fights prior to the showdown. But let’s face it, if you’re laying down that much cash, you may as well spring for another $10 for HD so you can catch every drop of sweat and blood. It’s a serious mound of cash, so we recommend gathering a few friends and splitting the payment to make it much more manageable.
$30 with cable subscription to Virgin Media or NOW TV
While people living in the U.S. don’t enjoy the option of choosing a Virgin Media or NOW TV subscription, those lucky enough to have access possess an incredibly cheap way to watch this weekend’s fight. With valid sign-in credentials from the previously mentioned providers, subscribers have the ability to order a Pay-Per-View broadcast of the bout for just $30. Start looking up friends of yours who live in the U.K. now, (and possibly grab a VPN) as this method serves as one of the cheapest ways to watch the action.
For those looking to switch cable allegiances, DISH Network currently offers a special promotion allowing new subscribers free access to the Pay-Per-View broadcast of the fight. People interested in this deal must use the promo code “BOXING” during the sign up process, and DISH also requires subscribers sign a two-year contract for its services.
An amazing source of information for literally anything, Reddit features a wealth of boxing-specific content worthy of satisfying any fan of the sweet science. With fight coverage planned most of Saturday night, look for a bevy of posts related to Mayweather vs. Pacquiao such as pre-fight interviews, match statistics, round-by-round breakdowns, and hilarious memes. Reddit’s loyal user base populates the site’s stream of content, which offers a colorful collection of information, to be sure. Moreover, during the entirety of fight night you’ll find dozens of boxing-themed pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites.
Questionable streaming sites
Keep in mind most of the illegal streaming options available come loaded with unwanted spam and a barrage of pop-up windows. Leaning on such links tends to be frustrating, particularly when it comes to finding quality video and audio feeds with little buffering.
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You must also keep in mind many of these sites illegally broadcast the content, and your computer remains at a high risk of malware when using them. Nevertheless, you’ll notice the deep selection of links available to you once you find an adequate streaming site on the Web. Notorious sites — though technically legal given they only provide links to various broadcast streams instead of broadcasting the copyrighted content — fall upon the gray areas of the law.
Note: As a rule of thumb, never click on any link which asks you to download any HD Players, update your streaming software, or to install any “required” media players. These are often just spam links that could infect your computer with viruses.