Mayweather dominates Fight of the Century
May 05, 2015 3:03 AM
by Vegas Runner
The so called “Fight of the Century” between Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KO’s) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KO’s), which fans from around the globe demanded for well over five years, finally took place this past Saturday night. Few fights throughout boxing history had been so highly anticipated and it seemed almost impossible the actual bout could ever live up to the hype, for lack of a better word.
The atmosphere leading up to the fight was absolute pandemonium and a masterful job had been done to give fans the impression the outcome would be highly contested. In fact, even the betting odds reflected how challenging this bout would be as this was the lowest Mayweather had ever been favored in his storied career.
When the bell ultimately sounded to mark the start of this epic bout, and though they weren’t the most exciting rounds ever contested, the first 6 did appear it could be either man’s fight to win. Granted, Mayweather seemed to be imposing his gameplan much more effectively than Pacquiao, but I believe the majority of spectators inside the arena and the millions watching via pay-per-view had scored the bout evenly up until that point. It quickly changed in the second half of the bout as arguably the greatest defensive fighter of all time in Mayweather began to completely neutralize one of the sport’s preeminent offensive weapons in Pacquiao.
By the time the bout entered the championship rounds, it was completely apparent Mayweather’s perfect ledger had never been threatened in this fight, and it was now only a matter of going through the motions until that final bell sounded.
According to Compubox stats, Pacquiao had thrown the fewest punches of his career in a 12-round fight (429), and also the fewest he’s ever landed (81). To put these figures in perspective, this was the offensive juggernaut who once landed 64 punches in a single round against Antonio Margarito, and had averaged throwing over 65 punches per round compared to only 36 on Saturday night. The man who was supposed to be the greatest threat to the unblemished record of Mayweather had instead landed more punches than just 4 of the prior 46 fighters “Money” has faced.
On the flip side, Mayweather fought what amounted to the perfect fight in order to take away anything and everything Pacquiao brought to the ring. Keep in mind that in Pacquiao we are talking about a top 5 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, who is currently considered by the most respected name’s in the sport as the 2nd best welterweight. Yet against No. 1, he was completely dominated and even looked to be outclassed as Mayweather imposed his will from start to finish.
In the end, many who had expected a closer and much more exciting fight were undoubtedly disappointed, and I would confidently wager both men were tested more in sparring. When each was interviewed after the fight, neither man looked like they had been in a competitive fight.
Looking back through the years, an unblemished face has almost always been the case with Floyd Mayweather, but definitely not so with Manny Pacquiao. Instead, whether he won convincingly or had been challenged, Pacquiao almost always wore the battle scars of a warrior afterward…but not this past Saturday night.
In closing, that is ultimately the genius in Floyd Mayweather Jr. Fans who understand how difficult the sport of boxing truly is, and can appreciate just how simple he makes it look, were once again amazed, myself included. I like to compare it to a “no-hitter” in baseball, where I believe most fans prefer a 10+ run ballgame to a 1-0 final. Mayweather has almost always pitched a no-hitter every time he took the mound by stepping into the ring.
In coming months I expect the conversation will be about where he belongs as far as the “greatest of all time” list goes. Some will put him right up there with the icons of the sport, while others will argue he hand-picked opponents at the most opportune times and hasn’t been in any unforgettable fights.
Personally, I believe that’s one conversation Floyd Mayweather doesn’t mind being debated one bit. I mean, for the past 5 years he had to put up with the conversation revolving around when he’s going to finally fight Pacquiao, and why he hadn’t yet. Well, all of us who wanted to see it finally got our wish. In the end, Mayweather proved what he had always claimed: Manny Pacquiao is no threat to his perfect record, his legacy, or his mastery of the sport.
Congratulations Floyd Mayweather Jr., and thank you for giving the fight fans of this generation the opportunity to witness one of the greatest fighters of all time.
Vegas-Runner is a professional bettor/handicapper featured on CNBC, ESPN, FOX, Yahoo, CBS This Morning, The Herd, JT the Brick, & More. Follow VR on Twitter @vegasrunner, and at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at VegasRunner@GamingToday.com.