Pacquiao, Mayweather to promote fights

Updated: February 24, 2012, 6:24 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Welterweight champions Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxing's biggest stars, are hitting the road for a promotional tour, albeit not to hype a fight between them.

Unable -- or unwilling -- to make a deal to face each other in the biggest fight in the sport, Mayweather and Pacquiao have separate pay-per-view fights a month apart and it is time for them to bang the promotional drums.

Mayweather is moving up in weight to challenge junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and Pacquiao defends his welterweight title against junior welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 9, also at the MGM Grand.

Although Pacquiao and Bradley fight later on the calendar than Mayweather and Cotto, they will go first. They open their two-city tour Tuesday afternoon when they -- along with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach and Bradley trainer Joel Diaz -- will meet the media for a news conference at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

On Thursday, they will be in New York for a gathering at Chelsea Piers in New York. That event, which is open and free to the public, takes place at noon ET at The Lighthouse on Pier 60.

Top Rank also announced ticket availability for the fight. Priced at $1,200, $900, $600, $400 and $200, tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. ET Friday via Ticketmaster or through the MGM Grand.

After Thursday's news conference, Pacquiao will head back to the Philippines, where he is a member of congress, while Bradley will head to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., to appear as the studio guest on the following night's edition of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights," in addition to other appearances on various ESPN shows.

Mayweather and Cotto commence their three-city tour in Cotto's native Puerto Rico. All three events are free and open to the public. They first will be at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan at 1 p.m. ET on Feb. 27.

On Feb. 28, they will appear together at 1 p.m. ET at the famed Apollo Theater in New York. And at 4 p.m. ET March 1, they will appear at PT Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.

Golden Boy Promotions said ticket information for Mayweather-Cotto would be announced shortly.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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