Las Vegas, NV – Years of speculation, accusation and frustration followed by ten weeks of unprecedented hype lead up to Saturday night’s superbout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Most of those who tuned in understood there was slim chance the event could exceed, or even match, expectation. But that was ok. If the show put on inside the ropes between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao even reached half the height of anticipation, well then, we were all in for a big night. After all, this was the event that the world was prepared to stop and take notice of.
The sporting event watched round the world that had us waiting longer than the Olympics and World Cup turned into a snoozer. The Fight Of The Century wasn’t even the Fight Of The Year.
Let’s revisit expectation for a moment. Anyone who was preparing for anything close to the war that was Hagler and Hearns down the street at Caesar’s Palace thirty years ago hasn’t been paying close attention to Mayweather’s legendary career.
Floyd Mayweather is a spectacle outside the ropes. Disappointed is the fan who expects to see him knock someone through them on Fight Night. He simply doesn’t work that way. And, at 48-0, it’s working just fine for him.
Sportsbooks eagerly threw open their windows offering handsome odds for an early-round K.O. outcome they knew they’d never have to pay off.
As the entertainment and sports world’s finest settled in to ringside seats Saturday night, Mayweather went about the business of keeping his undefeated record intact against the one man many said could take it away.
For Manny Pacquiao to do that, he would need to throw nearly a thousand punches Mayweather’s way. Of course, he’d need to connect on a high percentage of those. He did neither.
According to CompuBox calculations, Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) threw 429 punches. Only 81 of them found their mark. None of the three judges were impressed by the 19% success rate and awarded Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) the unanimous decision. By comparison, Mayweather landed 34% of his 435 punches. After 12 rounds, judges Glenn Feldman and Burt Clements saw it 116-112 while Dave Moretti scored it 118-110 all for the champion, and still undefeated, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
16,507 in attendance – some of whom we didn’t recognize – filed out. Millions of Pay-per-view households turned off the tube. Floyd and Manny collected nine-figure paychecks. It was yet another night at the office for the welterweight champion who has cemented his legacy as – at the very least – the best of his era.
And the world began to turn again.