Is he The Best Ever? Floyd Mayweather made his best case in a solid performance Saturday.
SAN DIEGO, May 2, 2015 – Five years and 50 days in the making, the boxing world can exhale. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is now part of boxing history.
In a dominant performance, Floyd Mayweather won a unanimous decision victory over the popular Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao. One judge scored it 118-110, the other two both scored it 116-112.
While this result was not a big surprise, the rhythm of the fight was different than predicted. In many fights, Mayweather’s opponents win the early rounds until he assesses them, adjusts his tactics, and takes their weapons away. In this fight, Pacquiao had random moments that thrilled the crowd with aggressive flurries, connecting solidly at times when he could back Mayweather against the ropes.
Mayweather made the most of his opportunities. His right jab was worthy of its own master class. He used it to keep Pacquiao at bay, scoring with it at times. He brought in the hook to land several harder shots. With a reach advantage, he could sit on the outside perimeter and get to Pacquiao without putting himself at risk. No one measures distance in the ring with more accuracy and to better effect than Mayweather.
The numbers told the story, and they are undeniable. According to CompuBox, Mayweather landed 148 of 435 total punches, a 34 percent connect rate. Pacquiao landed just 81 of 429 total punches, a 19 percent connect rate. Mayweather landed 67 jabs, Pacquiao only 18 jabs. Mayweather had the edge in power punches with 81 out of 168 for 48 percent connect rate; Pacquiao landed 63 of 236 punches, just a 27 percent connect rate.
No one who’s watched boxing the past 20 years could have ever bet against Floyd Mayweather. Most experts including this columnist did not. He has now won 48 fights and won them all for a reason. He is on his way to matching Rocky Marciano’s record of 49 fights without a loss.
Mayweather and Pacquiao embraced in the ring after the fight. Surely it was a relief to both men to have put this fight behind them. Mayweather told Showtime’s Jim Gray after the fight, “He’s (Pacquiao) a hell of a fighter. I take my hat off to Manny Pacquiao. Now I see why he’s at the pinnacle of the sport of boxing.
“I knew he was going to win some rounds. He had some moments … We did what we had to do tonight. I’m truly blessed, Manny Pacquiao is truly blessed,” said Mayweather. “We both were at our best tonight. When the history books was written, it was worth the wait.”
After the fight in the ring, and again in the post-fight news conference, Pacquiao said he thought he won. “I did my best. But my best wasn’t good enough. I don’t make alibis or reasons … I’m happy because in 12 rounds, I found a good fight. You know, I thought I won. But I have to review when I go back to my hotel to see what’s happening,” said Pacquiao. Trainer Freddie Roach said he was proud of Manny, adding that “we’d love to do it again, hopefully that’s in the future.”
Pacquiao revealed in the post-fight news conference he had a right shoulder injury three weeks ago in training. An MRI showed a tear; promoter Bob Arum claimed the Nevada State Athletic Commission was made aware of it weeks ago; the NSAC later disputed this, saying it learned about the injury just two hours before the bout. Pacquiao said in the third round he really felt the pain in his shoulder; he had to back off because it hurt. Arum pointed out that Pacquiao threw very few punches with the right.
When Pacquiao looks back, how much will the loss bother him? “It doesn’t bother me, because I did my best. The people are happy, even though I hurt my shoulder, I didn’t complain. It’s part of the game,” said Pacquiao.
Did Mayweather notice Pacquiao having any shoulder problems? “I have injuries also going into this fight. If he would have came out victorious, the only thing I could have said, was show respect and say ‘he was the better man.’ I will always find a way to win. That’s what I’m used to,” said Mayweather.
What does the future hold for these athletes? Mayweather said after the bout, “I got one more fight. My last fight is in September, then it’s time to hang it up. I’m almost 40 years old.” Mayweather has one last fight on his contract with Showtime/CBS. It won’t be a rematch. It won’t be a championship fight, either. Mayweather told media he would give up all the championship belts. Why? “To give other fighters a chance,” he said. It’s a business and promotional tactic, to create championship fights that generate more revenue for Mayweather because he won’t have to pay any commission sanctioning fees. Mayweather doesn’t need the titles to prove anything at his level.
“My love and passion for boxing is not what it was, but I have to go out there and do my job,” said Mayweather. “The ultimate goal was to make nine figures in one night, and that’s what we did … I can quit boxing today, and I’m A-OK.”
When pressed about possible future opponents, Mayweather protested, “There you go again. Let me enjoy my victory. Can I enjoy my victory, please?” Mayweather makes a point. He earned that right.
There is discussion about Pacquiao dropping in weight class back to 140 pounds, but what does he really have left to prove? All boxers have trouble ending their careers on a loss. Pacquiao could easily take a “victory lap” type fight in Macau as a thank you to his devoted Southeast Asian fans, then retire to politics and his potential future as President of the Philippines.
HBO announced it will replay the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao bout as part of the“HBO World Championship Boxing®” live doubleheader from Minute Maid Park in Houston headlined by the highly anticipated super welterweight fight between Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland. The event marks Canelo’s 2015 ring debut.
Other HBO playdates for all three bouts: May 10 (10:30 a.m.) and May 11 (11:45 p.m.). HBO2 playdates for all three bouts: May 10 (3 p.m.) and May 12 (11:30 p.m.)
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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