By Michael Battista
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, the fight which has been years in the making, has come and gone over the weekend, leaving a lot of people wondering: Was it all worth it?
After weeks of commercials touting that “All roads end here” in Las Vegas’s MGM Grand, multiple series about the fighter’s training, stories about their upbringings and years and years of anticipation, Saturday, May 2, the date of the fight, finally arrived and people were excited.
As both fighters entered the ring, announcer Michael Buffer pumped up the audience with his signature slogan, “Let’s get ready to rumble.” Announcers Jim Lambley, along with Roy Jones Jr., got set to call the action as the bell rang — and round one commenced.
A crowd, heavily favoring Pacquiao and booing the undefeated Mayweather, watched as Mayweather did what he always does — staying quick on his feet and stopping his appointment from getting an offensive start, usually by holding him. Even though he was landing more punches, Mayweather seemed off balance and almost a little shocked from the multiple quick shots from Pacquiao.
Round two saw a much more aggressive Pacquiao getting Mayweather into the corner or on the ropes multiple times and beating his midsection relentlessly. As Mayweather hopped and held his way out of these spots, the commentators called it perfectly — he seemed to be fighting scared.
Now, this is where most people are complaining. Mayweather’s tactics of constantly holding his opponents to stop attacks and using quick jabs to increase his number of punches landed isn’t right and made the fight less exciting. But this is something he’s always done, looking back on his fights with brawlers like Ricky Hatton and Arturo Gatti, this has consistently been his way of avoiding damage and picking up rounds. This is how he won so many of the rounds against Oscar De La Hoya a few years back, and in the later rounds against Pacquiao.
This pattern was continued throughout all 12 rounds. Pacquiao had brief spurts of quick offensive shots to the body, but Mayweather cancelled it with a hold.
Mayweather won by unanimous decision, much to the disappointment of Pacquiao, who believed he had won since Mayweather “did nothing” during the bout. The crowd of fans voiced their disappointment online, including former champion Mike Tyson who tweeted, “We waited five years for that…#Underwhelmed #MayPac.”
It could just be me, but I enjoyed that fight immensely. I knew going in that both fighters had their own styles, and both did exactly what I thought they would. Through 12 rounds I was on the edge of my seat watching the fight on my (totally legal) set up. From every Pacquiao body blow to every Mayweather head blow, I was audibly excited.
Pacquiao may not have won, but he is still an amazing fighter who is definitely a Hall of Famer once he decides to hang up his gloves. As for Mayweather, he said his next fight on his Showtime contract in September will be the last one of his career, and a win there will tie his undefeated record with Rocky Marciano’s. I can’t blame him though, since after 20 years of intense training and hard battles it’s not hard to believe he wants to call it quits. Jeremy Schaap of ESPN said something once that describes Mayweather to a tee: “At a certain point, invisibility is boring.”