2012 was a year dominated by many things. The Italian cruise liner ‘The Costa Concordia’ ran aground causing 32 deaths, Usain Bolt became the first man in history to win the 100m and 200m sprint in back to back Olympics, the USADA stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour De France titles, Barack Obama was returned to the White House for another term of office and the world waited with baited breath to see if the Mayan Doomsday Prophecy would see us all enjoy a last meal on December 21st.
In 2014, I wrote an article for this website called “Get Real – Mayweather-Pacquiao Would Not ‘Save’ Boxing.” In it, I challenged the notion that Mayweather –Pacquiao – or any other superfight for that matter – really benefit the sport beyond the fight itself.
The triumph of politics and hype over the sport of boxing is unanimous, professional boxing exists as a sport only nominally and has turned into a financial instrument. Show business likes scripts and scenarios and everything was under control last night, judging/scoring and even punch stats calculations occurred independently and irrespectively of the action in the ring or of the actual number of landed shots. The fight definitely did not live up to the hype except perhaps financially – the alleged fight of the century will hardly qualify for a fight of the year candidate.
It went exactly as feared, or hoped, depending on which side of the fence you were on. If you came in expecting action then you were at the wrong fight. If you came looking for answers and a little bit of drama, then you probably came away satisfied, although perhaps a little bit disappointed. It wasn’t until I first saw them nose to nose at the kickoff press conference that I got a real sense of the size difference between these two men. The stats can tell you a lot, but seeing the two of them face to face, Manny looking up into Floyd’s eyes, really gave a sense of the uphill battle that Manny was facing. However, the fight was not about size, it was about styles, and the common wisdom was that Manny had the style to threaten Floyd.
So here we are, just hours after the “Fight Of The Century” and the world … read more
“He’s [Manny Pacquiao] is a hell of a fighter. I take my hat off to him. Now I see why he’s one of the guys that are at the pinnacle of the sport of boxing.
“I knew he was going to push it and win some rounds. He had some moments in the fight, but I kept him on the outside, I was a smart fighter. I wasn’t getting hit with a lot of shots until I sat in the pocket, that’s when he would land a lot of shots.
What an anti- climax. Like your poor marquee fights of the past that didn’t quite live up to the hype (De La Hoya v Trinidad), Mayweather v Pacquiao and the pro-Manny house in Vegas left very disappointed tonight (or this morning here in the UK) when we witnessed a good guy vs bad guy fight where the better boxer – not the better human being – won out.
In truth, there was no way the so called “Fight of The Century” between Floyd Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquiao was ever going to live up to the huge hype the welterweight showdown enjoyed. And last night inside a packed but ultimately deflated MGM Grand, the fight came absolutely nowhere near close to delivering in the action stakes.
Mayweather, way too fast, clever, defensively skilled and also so much the bigger man physically, won, really, with some ease; in “second gear,” as super-middleweight king Carl Froch put it. Pac-Man, nowhere near the explosive, relentless dynamo he once was, had fleeting moments of success but they were far too few to make the fight just that, a fight.
This isn’t an article about “the” fight, in fact I will confess to not having watched “the” fight yet at all. Where I live it will be bright outside shortly after Manny and Floyd enter the ring and whilst there are still fights every other month that I will stay up all night for, this isn’t one. Why? Well allow me to explain: there are few things on which I ever agree with Dan Rafael of ESPN but a few years ago following another breakdown in negotiations for Mayweather-Pacquiao he commented that one of the things he looked forward to most in boxing was flying home from Vegas the morning after the fight. Essentially he recognised that in staging every other fight just as a build-up to what could be a historical clash, we were cheating ourselves as fight fans as well as dozens of top-level fighters out of the attention and celebration that should come with championship boxing.
Attitudes and social consensus surrounding “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: The Fight of the Century” are mixed
By Paul “Paparazzi“ Jones |Photo © Steve Lopez/ESB and Chris Farina/Top Rank | Illustration – Paul “Paparazzi” Jones
It’s a forgone conclusion that tonight’s welterweight clash between Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KOs) and Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) will be the highest-grossing fight in boxing history. Mayweather also remains the betting favorite among many Las Vegas oddsmakers and sportsbooks. For example, Sportsbook’s current line is Mayweather -200, Pacquiao +170 and, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, Mayweather’s implied winning percentage hoovers around 65%. Public opinion varies concerning the winner of tonight’s tilt, however.