Indy 500: IMS names Mayweather as honorary starter

TOP BOXER MAYWEATHER TO SERVE AS HONORARY STARTER AT INDY INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 24, 2008 -- Floyd Mayweather Jr., the world's top pound-for-pound boxer, will serve as the honorary starter of the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May ...

TOP BOXER MAYWEATHER TO SERVE AS HONORARY STARTER AT INDY

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 24, 2008 -- Floyd Mayweather Jr., the world's top pound-for-pound boxer, will serve as the honorary starter of the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.

Mayweather, a world champion in five weight classes, will wave the green flag to send the field of 33 drivers in action on the famous 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. The race will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. (ET) on ABC Sports, the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio.

"To be asked to wave the green flag at the Indianapolis 500 is an incredible honor," Mayweather said. "I'm extremely excited to be a part of this event and to see the best drivers in the world perform on the biggest stage in all of sports."

Mayweather, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., has a 39-0-0 record as a fighter, including high-profile, masterful victories in 2007 over Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton that earned him the 2007 Fighter of the Year award from the Boxing Writers Association of America. Mayweather is the current WBC welterweight (147 pounds) world champion and also has held world title belts at junior middleweight, light welterweight, lightweight and super featherweight divisions.

1996 Olympic bronze medalist Mayweather is universally recognized as the best pound-for-pound fighter. He has been ranked No. 1 by The Ring magazine, considered the bible of the sport, since July 2005 and has appeared in The Ring's top 10 pound-for-pound rankings for a staggering 486 weeks, more than double the length of any other fighter currently on that list.

"We're happy to welcome Floyd Mayweather to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to serve as the honorary starter of the 92nd Indianapolis 500," said Joie Chitwood, IMS president and chief operating officer. "The speed, power and charisma that he has shown in the ring are a perfect match for the excitement of 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'"

His success in the ring has enabled Mayweather, 31, to transcend boxing to become one of the most recognized sports stars on the planet. Mayweather competed on ABC's hit "Dancing with the Stars" last fall along with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who won the competition. The colorful Mayweather, nicknamed "Money," also participated this spring in World Wrestling Entertainment's "Wrestlemania XXIV."

These appearances out of the boxing ring added to Mayweather's burgeoning crossover appeal with boxing fans, sports enthusiasts, women and children.

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2008 IMS tickets: Tickets for all three world-class events in 2008 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the 92nd Indianapolis 500, 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP -- are on sale.

Fans have three easy methods to buy tickets: Online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time; on the phone by calling (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at 4790 W. 16th St. in Indianapolis from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-credit: ims

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves