Before I begin, I always feel I need to state the following disclaimer whenever I write about Floyd Mayweather Jr. and that is, for the record I am not a Mayweather fan. However, I am a fan of boxing.
Say whatever you want, “Mayweather ran the whole fight,” “Pacquiao didn’t fight his fight” or “the fight did not live up to the hype.” When push comes to shove, ‘Money’ (48-0, 26 KO’s) did exactly what he always does and Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KO’s) did just the opposite, which is not fight the way he always does and that was the difference. What fans need to realize is that Mayweather had everything to do with that.
Going into this fight I told people two things; one was that Manny Pacquiao had a chance, if he were able to cut off the ring and pressure Mayweather against the ropes. Based on my scorecard written on a pizza restaurant menu, Manny Pacquiao was only able to do that in four rounds. The other thing I told everyone before the fight was that my heart was with Pacquiao, but my money was with Mayweather.
While I believed Pacquiao had a chance if he were able to do what I said, it was Mayweather who was able to implement his game, which regardless of what any casual fan wants to say is the true art of boxing. ‘The Sweet Science’ is not called such because it means to stand and trade toe to toe; it really means to hit and not be hit. That is the object of this game and Mayweather plays it to perfection.
Of course this is not the most pleasing style to the fans, but Mayweather for as much as he is hated for this, has never lied or misled anyone about how he fights. This is what he has done for 48 straight fights now and to think he was going to fight any different, especially when it has worked every single time to this point is ignorance on behalf of casual boxing fans.
I say casual fans because true knowledgeable fans would and should understand that there is no question about how two of the judges and I came up with a 116-112 score. People asked me last night, “How can Mayweather win a fight running?” It’s simple, while he ran, he did punch from time to time, which is what he does, and did so effectively. Meanwhile, Pacquiao did chase, but did not punch effectively; when he was able to do so, he was given the rounds. Unfortunately for him, it only happened for one third of the fight.
Commentators and analysts calling the fight such as Al Bernstein and Max Kellerman pointed out during and after the fight that Pacquiao did not fight with the same punch output as he normally does. Even during his post fight interview with Pacquiao, Kellerman told him we did not see the same ferocity we usually see from him. As much as fans don’t want to, we must give credit to Mayweather for that.
In sports we hear all the time, whomever is able to impose their will, will win the game. In this case it’s clear that Mayweather was able to do that and Pacquiao, though he did for four rounds, was not. Important to note that the only round I was unsure about, round eight, I scored for Pacquiao; it could have easily been scored for Mayweather, which prompted HBO’s Harold Lederman’s score of 117-111.
I know the fight was not the classic everyone had hoped it would be, but for those that paid $100 expecting to see Gatti/Ward, Castillo/Corrales or Morales/Barrera you should have already known. People need to recognize that Mayweather is a boxer, not a fighter and there is a difference. Sure it’s not pleasing, but it’s the name of the game. The sport is called boxing, not fighting and Mayweather is just playing the sport. So don’t hate the player, hate the game.