Between 20 and 40 people were reported injured after the Mayweather Vs. Maidana fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Saturday, when fans suddenly stampeded for the exits following the highly unpopular ending to the bout, which saw Floyd Mayweather Jr. awarded an narrow majority decision victory over crowd-favorite Argentine Marcos Maidana.
The hotel said it would issue a statement on the incident Sunday, but early reports indicated that gunshots were heard in the crowd shortly after the conclusion of Mayweather Vs. Maidana, igniting a panic as the sold-out crowd of 16,228 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena attempted to file out of the facility.
One fan Dulce Castillo, told a reporter that her six-year-old son was trampled in the melee and had to be hospitalized.
“The people [were] over me and I am scared and I am screaming very hard,” Castillo said. “I said to my brother, ‘Help me, help me, please.’ My son is with people [on top of him]. I thought that we were dying, really.”
Another witness, former super bantamweight champion boxer Clarence “Bones” Adams said he didn’t know what set off the panic, but that it was not gunfire.
“All of a sudden we heard a loud rumble and people were falling,” Adams said. “There was no gunshot. But there was nothing that could be done with the people in here. They were all getting hurt. A little kid got trampled on, all the tables were getting turned.”
Eyewitness Kelley Hubbard told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the crowd was in a “bottleneck” at a bank of escalators when the panic suddenly broke out.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” said Hubbert, who described fans running through stores located inside the arena to avoid the crush. “When I looked back it was like dominos falling. The stores looked like they blew up from people fleeing.”
The Las Vegas Sun reported that 300 to 400 people were involved in the violence, with the injuries including two security guards while”five or six” fights broke out between spectators and Las Vegas Metro Police.
“People just started yelling and screaming, and next thing I know some guy jumps over my table and hits me on the head,” one witness, identifying himself a Carlos, age 64, told the paper. “People pushed the table back against the wall. There were a couple of ladies on the floor next to me. It was chaos.”
In the fight itself, Mayweather survived perhaps the most grueling test of his career, as Maidana, a 6-1 underdog coming into the contest, brawled and bullied his way to an unexpected early lead.
In the end Mayweather came away with a narrow majority decision over the relentless Maidana to unify the welterweight championship and remain undefeated at 46-0 in his 17-year pro career.
But the crowd at the MGM Grand, which leaned heavily in the Maidana camp, loudly booed the decision giving Mayweather the victory, and Maidana after the fight declared himself the winner.