Blog 27

Updated: October 18, 2008, 8:50 PM ET
By Don Steinberg

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET -- At the arena early

Arriving unbelievably early at a major boxing match is really cool. The arena seats are empty. The general public hasn't been let in yet, and there's a low, machine hum in the building as the pre-production set-up starts to get serious.

The square of floodlights above the ring is already on, but nobody's up in between the ropes. At one side of the floor, the waitresses in Caesar's Palace robes are receiving last-minute instructions from their boss. On the other end, beefy event staff security guards receive their own marching orders.

Larry Merchant and Emmanuel Steward are in tuxedos and bowties near ringside, hands in pockets, pacing as if their children are about to get married. Jim Lampley is sittting at his broadcast table reading text on his phone. Reporters start taking their places in press row -- you almost never see us on TV because the main camera for fight action is behind us and shoots over our heads. The celebrity heads on the other side are the ones who get on camera. They're not here yet. -- Don Steinberg