The Travel Bill of the Century

(Editor’s note: This column, published in the May 1, 2015, edition of the Republican-American, is a tongue-in-cheek look at what it would cost to go watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match in person.)

Boxing’s been around for a long time, but the world has only seen three fights worthy of being called Fight of the Century — Ali-Frazier in 1971, Louis-Schmeling in 1938 and Johnson-Jefferies in 1910.

Saturday, for the first time in nearly half a century, we get a new Fight of the Century. And I was going to try my darnedest to make sure that I got to see it in person.

So when the promoters announced in February that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao were finally going to fight after more than five years of kerfuffle, I decided I’d have to plan out just what it would take to head out to Las Vegas for my generation’s Fight of the Century.


They could have filled Cowboys Stadium for this fight, but instead it will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which holds 16,800. Yep, tickets were going to be expensive.

It took months for tickets to go on sale to the public, and when they finally did, there were only 500 available from about $1,500 to $10,000. Tough sell.

I don’t know anybody in the two promotions. I don’t know anybody at HBO and Showtime. I don’t know anybody at the big casinos. That leaves me scouring StubHub.

As of Bloomberg’s latest update, the average ticket is reselling for $6,300. I could spring for the cheapest ticket at $3,400, but I want a good seat if this is the last Fight of the Century.

Expense: $6,300.


I’m a small-town American and therefore have never even been inside an airport, much less on an airplane. I actually considered what it would take to drive to Vegas — heck, I tallied ho to Nashville last summer — until I realized it was 2,600 miles away.

Anyway, a prudent man would book his plane ticket in advance to avoid the absurd last-minute booking costs — the plane’s still going whether I’m on board or not, so why gouge me? — at about $400 for a round-trip ticket. Plus a bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

Expense: $406.


Hotels seem pretty nice and bright in Vegas. They’ve actually come down to an average of $420 over the last few weeks, according to Bloomberg, because people have canceled their original reservations after seeing how absurdly hard to watch this fight will be.

By the way, what’s up with continental breakfast? It seems like a stupid name. I did a little research and found out that it comes from the old differences between breakfast eaten by the British (meat, eggs, bread — hearty!) and breakfast eaten by those from continental Europe (pastry, cereal, fruit — cute!).

That’s right: Now I know what a petit dejeuner really is, and it’s not the hilarious category from Saturday Night Live’s Celebrity Jeopardy.

Expense: $840.


When in Rome, right?

Not only is Saturday the big fight — I’d put down $100 on Pacquiao because the odds are nicer and I think he’ll come out swinging early — but it’s also Kentucky Derby day. Tencendur, which will start from the No. 4 post at 30-1 odds, is owned by the father of one of my best college friends. Let’s go!

I’d stick $100 on that, plus another $50 somewhere in some casino.

Expense: $250.


I have to throw in about $250 for incidentals, including food, drinks and taxi rides. (I’ve also never been in a taxi. I hate going anywhere that precludes me from driving.)

I’m also resigned to the fact that I’d definitely lose my phone. I’m not one of those people—I’ve had my current HTC One for almost two years — but I’m pretty sure that Vegas has the highest percentage of lost phones by tourist of any city in the world. I’ll pony up $450 for a new one.

Some things on this trip, of course, would be priceless. Like watching two guys try to steal a giant flamingo from the front lawn of the Flamingo casino before being arrested with cameras from COPS rolling.

(Seriously, that happened in an episode I watched a few weeks ago while I was playing my self-invented COPS Bingo and I want to pretend it happens all the time.)

Expense: $700.


Add up my very well organized and explained ledger and we come up with the price tag of $8,496 to enjoy the Fight of the Century.

Surely I can afford it. A Nigerian prince named Mr. Kumalo still owes me 20 percent of the diamond fortune left by his assassinated father. He emailed me a few weeks ago and should be wiring over some U.S. dollars any day now.

Aw, who am I kidding? I can’t make it happen. I’ll have to enjoy the Fight of the Century from here in the Valley.

Someone let me know where the party’s gonna be. I’ll throw in $10 toward the pay-per-view, $12 for a 12-pack of Narragansett and $3 to tip the host — a savings of $8,471!

(Editor’s note: Here’s how the column looked in print.)

What do you think?