Friday May 1st, 2015

Here is a roundup of SI.com's 10 most popular stories this week. Be sure to read to the bottom for a bonus story from the SI Vault.


The 25 greatest super fights

Mitsunori Chigita/AP

With Saturday's bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao being hailed as the "fight of the century," SI.com looked back on previous mega-fights, counting down the top 25 with fascinating background and stunning photographs for eachBy Allen Kim and Richard O'Brien.


How Mayweather-Pacquiao came together

Isaac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

For six years, negotiations between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have stopped and started, with details preventing the fight boxing fans craved. With the fight finally set to take place, SI offers an exclusive look at the six years of back-and-forth that led to Saturday's bout. By Chris Mannix and Greg Bishop.


Pedro shares secrets in book excerpt

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In an except from his upcoming book, Pedro, Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez discusses the exploits of Manny Ramirez, the media's coverage of Dominican players like Sammy Sosa, his famous altercation with Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer and moreBy Pedro Martinez and Michael Silverman.


Oral history: Pro wrestling in North Korea

Courtesy of WWE

Twenty years ago this week, a most unlikely group of Americans visited North Korea against all advice as invited guests of the government: a troupe of major professional wrestlers, a pair of wrestling officials, Muhammad Ali’s photographer, Howard Bingham, and Ali himselfBy Dan Greene.


NFL Draft: Round One grades

Don Juan Moore/Character Lines for Sports Illustrated

 
Were the Bucs right to take Winston over Mariota? Should the Titans have traded down? Did the Jets actually make a shrewd pick? Who received the first round's worst marks? SI.com's experts doled out grades for each pick of the NFL draft's first roundBy Chris Burke and Doug Farrar.

Meet Mayweather's bodyguards

Simon Pruty for Sports Illustrated

After 15 years of shielding the famous, of clearing paths through raucous crowds, of trying not to step on smaller humans, Adam Plant and Alfonso Redic can smell an approach before it starts. They’re known as The Great Wall. They have shielded the rapper Snoop Dogg and now protect Floyd Mayweather JrBy Greg Bishop.


Billy Donovan scratching an old itch in the NBA

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

In 2007, when Billy Donovan spurned the Orlando Magic to remain at Florida, he seemed certain that he belonged in the college game. But now the two-time national champion is off to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder and fulfill his old NBA dream. By Andy Staples.


Why David Ortiz feels bad for Kris Bryant

Paul Beaty/AP

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz explains why he feels bad for Cubs rookie Kris Bryant and suggests that hitting is now harder than ever. By Tom Verducci.


Pacquiao's trainer on how to beat Mayweather

Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated

Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, is looking back at Floyd Mayweather's 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya in search of secrets for toppling the undefeated championBy Greg Bishop.


For better or worse

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Thunder got their man in Billy Donovan, but with Oklahoma City in win-now mode and Kevin Durant a year from free agency, the coach will face heavy pressure in his debut season. Whether he’s up to the task of pushing the franchise forward is, unequivocally, a matter with the potential to change the entire leagueBy Rob Mahoney.


The amazing story of Ali-Frazier III, the Thrilla in Manila

"Lawdy, lawdy he's great," Joe Frazier said that of Muhammad Ali, but so fierce and unsparing was their confrontation that the phrase could have applied to them both. By Mark Kram.

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