On the Money: Mayweather Outboxes Pacquiao
Floyd Mayweather easily outboxed Manny Pacquiao to a clear unanimous decision victory with scores of 118-110 and 116-112 twice…
Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dionisia Pacquiao’s juju failed. Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs), from Sin City by way of Grand Rapids, Michigan, easily outboxed Manny Pacquiao, (57-6-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, to a clear unanimous decision victory with scores of 118-110 and 116-112 twice.
Never call a fight the “Fight of the Century” before a punch is thrown. It raises expectations, only to watch them flutter back to earth. Mayweather-Pacquiao succeeded as event, but the fight was boxing’s Icarus, with Floyd Mayweather starring as the sun. It wasn’t a bad fight, per se. But it was no more Fight of the Century than Beyoncé is Nina Simone.
Fighting out of the blue corner in black and gold trunks, Mayweather established his dominance early and never stopped. His defensive mastery, his four-star ring generalship, his lancing jab and laser guided right hand were all it took to win the fight.
Pacquiao, fighting out of the red corner in yellow and red trunks, needed to give Mayweather something to think about. Instead, he barely exited the gate. His anticipated early flurries never materialized. His killer instinct was kaput. If Pacquiao had a game plan, it’s news to me. He failed as 47 men before him had failed and in much the same fashion.
Mayweather’s superior size, longer reach, elevated skills and refined mind were more than Manny knew what to do with. Pacquiao meant well. He gave it his best shot. But his best shot wasn’t enough. It wasn’t even close. Congressman Instinct, an historic figure in the Philippines, was no match for the Boxing Brainiac. Manny tried to get close. He tried to make it a fight. But elusive Mercury Mayweather, dancing to the sound of his own drummer, slid away, just out of range, just out of reach, just out of Pacquiao’s league.
Pacquiao’s been a fine boxing ambassador, whether it was the pre-God Pacquiao, the drinking, fornicating, cockfighting Pacquiao, or the goateed holy man in gloves and satin shorts we see today. But no matter who he was, who he is, who he becomes, Manny is the Buddha of Boxing, the beatific anomaly that smashes stereotypes.
Unfortunately that smashing ability had no effect on the special effect named Floyd Mayweather. Money proved his point. He is unparalleled at what he does. But he is like Wladimir Klitschko. While at opposite poles temperamentally and Steelhammer nukes, neither engages. They do enough to win. We can fete their mastery. We can trumpet their ring IQs. Their fights are another story.
Mayweather says it’s one and done. One more fight, he fulfills his contract, ties Marciano and moves on. He’ll make the transition from magnate to magnate without breaking a sweat, and he will be forever Floyd. Mayweather may be over the top. He may not be to everyone’s tastes. But he redefined boxing in ways both good and bad.
Fights of the Century are made, not born. Fights of the Century, fights like Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries in 1909, like the duet between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling in 1936 and 1938, like the first Ali-Frazier in 1971, bristled with global implications. They were Fights of the Century, not just in name, but in deed.