The early morning of Sunday May the 3rd saw the most anticipated fight of the century take place between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. For the past five years this fight has been on and off because of a variety of disputes between the two camps, but finally the world got to see what it had been waiting for and the question on everybody’s lips is ‘did it deliver?’
Once the contracts had been agreed and both camps we’re happy, the build up to the fight could begin. In most big encounters in boxing history there are always bad words shared, conflicting views, tension and the negative attitudes towards an opponent. This fight however had none of that, both fighters had mutual respect and seemed to want to roll with it until the fight and get their pay checks.
In fact the only thing that was making the fight an attractive fight was the media because of the rivals history in boxing. The camps tried to cause tension, particular the two lead trainers of both fighters. The fighters however kept cool heads and didn’t say a bad word about one another, which in some viewers eyes is good for boxing, but then it also dampens down the fight as the tension hasn’t been created. An example of this would be the Carl Froch vs George Groves fight, as a spectator you could have cut the tension with a knife it made the fight so big because they hated each other with passion, and in this fight passion was not seemingly not an option for either boxer.
The weigh in and any face off was relatively simple, no words shared, no pushing, nothing. Neither fighter wanted to lose focus and give the opponent an inch. Which left the fight hard to call prior to the event at the MGM Grand.
Fight night finally came and Mayweather produced a boxing masterclass to dumbfound Pacquiao. Mayweather boxed clever, he kept his opponent at a distance with the jab and played the percentage game and made his punches count. ‘The Pacman’ however continued to attack inside of Mayweather but was tirelessly left punching thin air as Mayweather’s game plan had taken shape.
The fight went the entirety of the 12 rounds and Mayweather won convincingly on a points decision after executing the perfect game plan. For the boxing world however, it was definitely not the fact that viewers wanted to see. Everybody wanted to see both boxers giving everything with a knockdown victory, so much so that fans of the sport have deemed Mayweather as a boring fighter. ‘The Money’ certainly won’t take notice after this win granted him the WBO belt, 48 undefeated fights and £66 million in his pocket.
The question to ask is where do these fighters go from here? Both nearing the ends of their stellar careers, Pacquiao may have one last fight in him to try and go out on a high or may potentially retire as this was the one fight he truly wanted. Mayweather on the other hand will at least have one last fight, with fans hopeful of a bout with Britain’s Amir Khan although ‘The Money’ doesn’t seem overly interested. And what about that record set by Rocky Marciano of 49 undefeated fights? Surely Mayweather will want to eclipse that.
Although this fight was the biggest grossing in the sports history, it hasn’t actually affected the world of boxing. The ‘fight of the century’ didn’t live up to fans expectations, but then again maintaining your unbeaten record and you’re belts can’t be bad for Floyd Mayweather.
Pictures courtesy of The Guardian and The Daily Mail