In the early hours of this morning Floyd Mayweather Jr. cemented his status as the greatest boxer of his generation with a unanimous points victory over Manny Pacquiao in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
It was billed as, ‘The Fight of the Century,’ but the general feeling was that the fans were unsatisfied with the outcome following the extensive publicity leading up to the super bout.
Floyd Mayweather utilised his superior defensive skills and movement to produce a masterclass in counter punching which nullified the speed and technique of Manny Pacquiao. The judges at ringside scored the fight; 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112. The lob-sided nature of the points victory was such that fans booed the victor and the decision in Las Vegas.
For casual fans expecting to see a fight in the mould of Hagler v Hearns or Gatti v Ward they were sorely disappointed. Floyd Mayweather had a clear strategy to win the fight and he executed it masterfully. Mayweather dominated the fight with sharp jabs and powerful right counters administered from the centre of the ring.
He was so effective that Pacquiao could only muster short bursts of pressure that never seemed to bother the physically bigger Mayweather. The longer the fight went on the more Mayweather grew in confidence, and his ability to slip and defend blows was evident throughout.
Pacquiao could not force his way into the fight, his ferocious speed, movement and punching power were absent from his performance. He maintained a certain level of aggression throughout, but it he only managed to steal a couple of rounds from Mayweather.
On occasion Pacquaio’s left hand gave the Mayweather corner, cause for concern and at the end of the sixth round Floyd Mayweather Snr had a stern word with his son feeling that Junior should be doing more to dictate the fight.
Despite pockets of Pacquiao pressure this was an underwhelming performance from the Phillipine boxer. Although, credit must be given to Floyd Mayweather who hardly broke a sweat in his display of technical boxing skill and supreme confidence which saw him notch up a comprehensive victory.
Surprisingly, after the fight Pacquiao told HBO Boxing’s Max Kellerman that he felt he had won the fight. Pacquiao protested that Mayweather did nothing other than move around. It was puzzling to hear a fighter of that calibre to make such a statement; what did he expect Mayweather’s game plan to be?
It was perhaps more a knee-jerk reaction to the loss than anything, Pacquiao is a proud warrior, but the fight did demonstrate that Pacquiao excels in fights where opponents are prepared to come forward and face his punching power rather than him having to go hunting for them.
On the upside Pacquiao will be richly rewarded for his effort against Mayweather, but I cannot see there being a massive demand for a rematch. Instead now may be the most appropriate time for Pacquiao to retire and concentrate on his interests outside of boxing in his native Philippines where he is regarded as a national treasure.
The future for Mayweather remains uncertain, he claims he isn’t bothered about emulating Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. However he does believe he has one more fight that will be scheduled for September 2015 before he retires for good. The opponent has not been named so fans can only speculate whether he will face Britain’s Amir Khan or whether he will set his sights on unifying the welterweight crown by facing another British fighter; Kell Brook who currently holds the IBF welterweight title.
Either fight would be a mouth-watering encounter, although by Mayweather’s standards the fight that makes the most financial sense is the one likely to get made. However Mayweather decides to move forward he has without doubt secured his legacy as the greatest fighter of his generation and pound for pound one of the greatest fighters in the history of boxing.
On the undercard; WBO Featherweight champion; Vasyl Lomachenko defended his title with a 9th round stoppage of Gamalier Rodriguez. Leo Santa scored a lob-sided 10 round victory over Jose Cayetano at Featherweight. Chris Pearson scored a 10 round victory over Said El Harrak and Jesse Hart stopped Mike Jimenez in six rounds.