Styles make fights. It’s a common adage in sports and it applied to boxing in the much anticipated matchup between the undefeated Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Both fighters tried to apply their style of fighting in hopes of being victorious in what was billed as the Fight of the Century. Mayweather’s calculated and defensive approach might have come out victorious for the boxing purists, but for the new fan that paid to see what all the fuss was about, they might be running away from the sport and asking for their money back.
Floyd Mayweather has always been a master technician in the ring displaying evasiveness and a great defensive approach. It was once again evident in his match with Pacquiao winning a unanimous decision over the Filipino fighter. Mayweather extended his unbeaten streak to 48 wins and cashed in a nine figure cheque at the end of the night but the one thing he didn’t win was the fans. In a much hyped up affair, Mayweather used timely jabs and escaped Pacquiao’s aggression by bouncing off the ropes to safety and by neutralizing him by clenching. This fighting style frustrated Pacquiao chasing Mayweather the entire 36 minutes in the ring as he failed to gain any momentum or mount a sustained offense. Once the results were announced, Mayweather raised his hands in victory to the boos and jeers of the crowd. Many people in attendance paid for tickets that ranged from $1,500 for nosebleed seats to $100,000 for a closer view ringside. Around the world, people shelled out $100 to watch the fight live on pay-per-view. The cable companies were so busy across Canada and the United States that some waited hours to get their order processed. The pay-per-view buys are reported to exceed $400 million. A fight that will be the highest grossing fight in the history of boxing but failed to live up to the expectations.
With Floyd Mayweather, you get what you pay for. He has never been advertised as a slugger that will give you 12 rounds of non-stop action. He is a defensive mastermind in the ring and his style has proven to be successful 48 times. To blame Mayweather’s defense for the lackluster clash would be to discredit many boxing legends such as the likes of Willie Pep, Pernell Whitaker and even Muhammad Ali. They say that defense wins championships. Mayweather solidified that theory on May 2nd.
The high offensive output usually displayed by Manny Pacquiao was inconspicuous during the fight. Pacquiao landed an uncharacteristic 19% of his punches. Mayweather’s refusal to engage was one of the reasons but Pacquiao’s camp revealed that he had suffered a rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder three weeks prior to the fight. Pacquiao pushed through with the fight to the displeasure of his trainer Freddie Roach with the plan of injecting numbing agents. To the surprise of Top Rank and the Pacquiao camp, the Nevada State Athletic Commission did not allow for Pacquiao to take his shot on the night of the fight. Some may argue that this wouldn’t have mattered but Pacquiao said he would like a rematch.
“I really need that shot because if I throw a power hook or power jab it hurt,” Pacquiao said in an interview with Rappler.com. “I want a rematch if he wants. I wasn’t ready for last night because of the shoulder, but I don’t want to use that complaining that I lost the fight. I’m just accepting the fact that I lost.”
Floyd Mayweather has stated he has one match left in September and has told ESPN that a rematch with Manny Pacquiao in September will not happen. Pacquiao will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder and will have to consider other options for a possible fight in the fall.