Floyd Mayweather fought in front of 16,000 fans against Manny Pacquiao. On Saturday, he will fight in front of about 20.
Following his retirement in 2017, Mayweather has competed in exhibition bouts in Japan and Miami. Now, Mayweather heads to Dubai on May 21 to face Don Moore. This time, he will fight on top of a helipad with a height of about 689 feet off the ground.
The Burj Al Arab, which opened for business in 1999, is considered one of the tallest hotels in the world. Its height reaches 1,053 feet. The hotel is located on an artificial island just off Dubai’s coastline. The hotel’s reputation is of luxury and worldwide recognition, resulting in the tagline, “A global icon of Arabian luxury.”
Above the building’s 59th floor, the helipad has hosted several athletes. It has also held weddings. Per ABC News, the Wedding in the Skies program launched in 2014 had a start rate of about $55,000.
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“The main challenge was ensuring that the helipad was structurally sound and supported the overall architecture of the hotel,” Burj al Arab’s managing director Anthony Costa told CNN regarding the construction of the helipad.
“The helipad had to meet both structural and safe landing criteria,” says Simon Crispe, then-Atkins Global managing director in the Middle East. “It needed to ‘float’ visually and we only wanted a minimal visible supporting steelwork.”
Since its construction, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have tee off from it, an episode of The Today Show was filmed, and Formula 1 racer David Coulthard performed donuts. Performing donuts on top of the helipad was no easy feat, but engineers were brought in to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
One of the most notable events that took place on the helipad was Roger Federer and Andre Agassi playing a practice session on top of the helipad on a manufactured tennis court.
“This was an absolutely amazing experience,” Agassi told ATPtennis.com, via ESPN. “When you first get over how high you are and start playing, it’s an absolute joy and it was a great time. I had no issues with the height as long as I didn’t have to bungee jump off the side.”
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In boxing, former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has sparred on the helipad. There were rumors that Joshua could face Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch for the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles on the helipad. As of now, it is just a rumor.
Mayweather will be one of the first boxers to compete on the helipad. It will be in front of over 20+ V.I.P.’s, with tickets being in the form of an NFT. The visuals are expected to be spectacular, with a presentation that could help enhance the beauty of boxing and the hotel.