By the end of this week, Las Vegas will resemble a Manchester derby. Ricky Hatton, one of the most die-hard Man City supporters, will be dressed in the colors of his favorite football team, while thousands of Brits who have flown over from the UK will be in attendance for the fight at the MGM Grand.
Hatton’s opponent Mayweather got into the act recently by wearing a Manchester United shirt. Everyone in Vegas I’ve spoken to, mostly the cab drivers, think Mayweather will win the fight pretty easily. But the Brits, myself included, are very confident that an upset is on the cards.
I won’t be in Vegas for the fight unfortunately as I’m flying back to Florida on Friday from my business trip here. But I did manage to sneak in some football today during my lunch break to watch the final 30 minutes of Newcastle v Arsenal and Everton v Zenit St. Petersburg.
Sitting in the Sports Bet section of the Luxor hotel next to 20 Brits, we watched the two games side-by-side. After scoring the equalizer, Newcastle played like they were content with the draw rarely threatening the Arsenal goal except for a succession of corners near the end of the game. Arsenal looked a bit lightweight and short of ideas for the final 30 minutes. And a point dropped by the Gunners was summed up by the dour faces of the Arsenal fans exiting the Luxor.
Newcastle’s Sam Allardyce now has a lifeline courtesy of Steven Taylor’s goal. Big Sam still has the passion too as witnessed by his tirades along the touchline near the end of the match.
When Tim Cahill knocked in the winner near the end of the match against Zenit, a roar from 5-6 Everton fans erupted in the casino as they celebrated the Toffees reaching the next round of the UEFA Cup.